Martin O’Malley on Wall Street reforms

“Should not be underestimated”

Democratic presidential candidate Martin O’Malley spoke yesterday in Washington about his proposed reforms for Wall Street.

The former Maryland governor had three talking points: advocating a 21st century Glass Steagall Act, additional regulatory reforms, and an increase in prosecution of leaders at “mega big banks” he called “too big to fail, too big to jail.”

He called for a government role in writing living wills for the largest banks, since the banks have not yet done this themselves. He also endorsed a book by former FDIC chair, Sheila Bair,The Bullies of Wall Street.

Throughout much of his presentation, he was both presidential and very personable. He emphasized his 15 years of executive experience, and had good answers for many questions. There were some bumps, though, like when one person asked how his proposed tax policies fit in with his Wall Street reforms. He started by answering the previous question, and then pivoted to the need for a “greatly increased” capital gains tax.

As a former governor of Maryland, Wall Street was not his primary focus.  And there was no talk of how his experience with and appreciation for data-driven governance fit into his Wall Street reforms. 

But in the event that Hillary Clinton implodes, or even if she just never fully steadies herself, the takeaway about O’Malley is that he absolutely should not be underestimated.

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