Washington is all aflutter about the dangers of too much federal debt. But the real danger to the American economy may lie elsewhere, and in an all-too-familiar place. More than four years after Wall Street precipitated the worst crash since the Great Depression, the nation’s financial system is again becoming enshrouded in uncertainty and a lack of transparency. At a time when the biggest banks are getting even bigger and more opaque in their operations, the Dodd-Frank financial regulation law is still not fully implemented, two and a half years after enactment. President Obama’s own attorney general, Eric Holder, even implicitly rebuked his former Cabinet colleague, ex-Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner, for allowing the banks to get out of hand. The question now is: Does Geithner’s replacement, Jacob Lew, have the right stuff to rein in Wall Street? In National Journal‘s first e-Book, In Lew of Geithner, Chief Correspondent Michael Hirsh concludes that it’s far more likely that Lew will follow Geithner’s path.
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Michael Hirsh, the chief correspondent for National Journal, previously served as the senior editor and national economics correspondent for Newsweek, based in its Washington bureau. Hirsh has received numerous awards, including the Overseas Press Club award for best magazine reporting from abroad in 2001 and for Newsweek’s coverage of the war on terror, which also won a National Magazine Award, and he has appeared many times as a commentator on MSNBC, Fox News, CNN, and National Public Radio. Hirsh has written for The New York Times, The Washington Post, Foreign Affairs, Harper’s, and the Associated Press, and is the author of two previous books. Follow him on twitter @michaelphirsh.