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Notes on the April 25, 2010 broadcast

April 25, 2010

My random thoughts on this week’s broadcast. The full transcript will be here.

  1. I have been critical of David Gregory and Meet The Press for focusing far too much on the politics of Washington, DC and far too little on the substance of government and reform. So I was a little leery when Gregory’s first question to Senators Dodd and Shelby on the Senate Finance Reform bill today was “Do we have a deal?” But in the end, it looks like Gregory was trying to dispense with the politics quickly so he could get to more substance.

  2. After hearing Dodd and Shelby, it seems likely that a deal is close. Gregory struggles to escape the political discussion.

  3. Gregory asks about the new Goldman Sachs stories, which merely allows both guests to recycle their anti-Wall Street sound bites. I am glad, however, that, if we are going to stick with the politics, Gregory put together a graphic showing how much Goldman Sachs and the entire sector has given to Dodd, Shelby, and President Obama.

  4. At some point, the conversation did slip nicely into the substance of “Too Big To Fail.” And it was a meaty, useful discussion.

  5. Gregory asked a very good question abut how regulators missed the boat and lacked the will last time to stop a financial crisis… so how will the new bill fix that?

  6. Gregory mentioned emerging evidence that the past bailouts have worked and money is being repaid… and this provoked a good discussion.

  7. The conversation went on to cover the systemic risk council, the Volker rule, and exotic instruments. All in all, I give the host a solid A- in his effort to make this a more substantial segment than usual for the broadcast.

  8. The roundtable segment started with a discussion of the new Arizona immigration law. While I would like to have heard more about the substance, it was an interesting conversation about how the law will impact Democratic legislative priorities, have consequences for the success of health care reform, and impact John McCain.

  9. On finance reform, Gregory says the president’s posture has moved more toward cooperation with Wall Street rather than more public flogging of bankers.

  10. David Brooks agrees with this observation… and assures us the president is not a socialist, just smart.

  11. Erin Burnett is concerned that the new finance reform bill still does not give regulators enough resources to carry out their assignments.

  12. Evan Thomas says there is a perception out there that Goldman Sachs played its clients for suckers. I agree… and this perception is far more damaging to the company than the government lawsuits.

  13. In a column this week, David Brooks introduced the idea that a war over the size and role of government is replacing the old “culture wars” on the American political landscape. And this idea has really helped define the current national political mood.

  14. Evan Thomas, however, says this is a distraction from the real issue: How will we PAY for government? We cannot grow our way out.

  15. There was some discussion about the Republican move to the right at the moment the president is losing the center. Brooks predicts the Republicans will do very well in the fall.. with farther right candidates than usual.

  16. In the closing moments of the show, Gregory announced that MTP is now being seen on CNBC Asia… and he heralded the arrival of HD and a new set on next week’s broadcast. A sneak peek is online here. And that preview of the new MTP set also gave us a glimpse of the new MTP logo. See below.
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