FT.com / Comment / Editorial – Obama is right to clobber Wall Street
The American public dreams of putting bankers on trial. The hearings of the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission, which started this week, are a spectacle that comes close to that fantasy. With camera flashes firing, the bankers’ journeys to take the stand have had the drama of the “perp walk”. The quasi-defendants were quizzed, among other things, on the White House’s new plan, revealed this week, for a $90bn tax on banks.The proposal is political. That much is clear from the timing. The administration announced it ahead of bank bonus season. With US unemployment continuing to rise, the spectacle of Wall Street plutocrats reporting multimillion dollar earnings from bailed-out companies will trigger geysers of rage. This policy should soothe and exploit that popular anger.