Zephyr Teachout, a Nation editorial board member, is an associate professor of law at Fordham University and the author of the forthcoming book Break ’Em Up: Recovering Our Freedom From Big Ag, Big Tech, and Big Money.
Teachout was formerly a Visiting Professor of Law at Duke University and a lecturer at the University of Vermont. Teachout served as the Director of Internet Organizing for the 2004 Howard Dean presidential campaign. In 2009, she helped found the Antitrust League. Teachout was the first national director of the Sunlight Foundation, which promotes transparency and accountability in government. She volunteered at Occupy Wall Street, where she encouraged the movement to focus on the importance of decentralized power, citing the ideas of James Madison and worked to educate activists in corporate law and policy.
Obama today announced his proposal for restructuring the financial sector, and although there are some excellent parts of the proposal, with real teeth on them (new standards on leverage, for example), the overall gist of the package is oversight. His accompanying explanation also focused on oversight:
Mr. Obama told reporters on Tuesday that a "lack of oversight" allowed what he called "wild risk-taking." He said it led to "very dangerous" conditions that imperiled the global economy.
He believes there need to be more guards on watch, in effect. More (and more independent) weathermen and women, more border guards. In this view, the crisis happened--bottom line--because not enough good people were watching out for risk.