Today the Times profiles one of the chief architects of the financial reform legislation now on the brink of passage, Obama appointee to the Fed's board of governors Daniel K. Tarullo. Tarullo, who far more than Obama speaks in what the Times calls "characteristically professorial tones," helped forge the approach to the megabanks that frustrates so many critics: rein them in (a bit) rather than break them up (for now). His explanation of that approach strikes me as a kind of distillation of the Obama approach to reform, for good and/or ill:
“I am intellectually open to the proposition that the only way to achieve the optimal balance between financial stability and the efficient intermediation of capital flows might be to break up some of the largest institutions,” Mr. Tarullo said. “But given the uncertainties, I would probably be inclined to begin with other measures, such as more stringent capital and liquidity requirements for the largest, most complex firms.”
Does that mean "save radical reform for the next crisis" or tighten the reins (and wield the carving knife) by degrees?