NEW YORK (TheStreet -- Well, haven't we just had a wonderful 2010? From the standpoint of Wall Street it has been terrific. Public memories have faded, pretty much on cue, and the same people who brought you the Great Unraveling of 2008 are still with us, most of them still in power.
Rather than dwell on all the bad things that happened over the past year, as I did in this space last week, I want to be forward-looking this time. What I've prepared is a list of New Year's resolutions for every person on my Christmas list.
So, working my way from the mighty to the moronic:
President Obama: It's not too late to start afresh. Isn't that what New Year's resolutions are all about? You still have plenty of time left in your administration to fix the mistakes you made at the start. That's right: purge your entire economic/financial regulatory team. Send Timothy Geithner to some consular post in South Asia. He still hasn't managed to inspire public confidence in the economy, and you had no reasonable expectation that he would. It's great that you're sending Larry Summers back to Harvard. Whatever advice he's giving you is obviously not working. But to give the public a real gift, you have to fire Mary Schapiro, the ineffectual head of the ineffectual SEC. I don't know if the market will rally from such a long-overdue housecleaning, but the public will thank you for it. (P.S., I hope you and Michelle enjoyed the fruitcake.)Lloyd Blankfein: Working my way down the list, the next stop is the second most powerful man in America, the CEO of Goldman Sachs (GS). I wonder sometimes if Goldman's proven ability to shrug off regulatory consequences and horrid publicity is really relative -- not absolute -- based upon the weakness of the people regulating it. How would Blankfein have fared against a William O. Douglas or Joe Kennedy? Or an Eliot Spitzer or Rudy Giuliani for that matter? If competent people ran our regulatory and law enforcement agencies, would Goldman have emerged from its CDO hijinks with nothing more than a lame SEC civil action? All we know is that Blankfein has done a bang-up job fending off Congress and delivering spin on Charlie Rose. The New Year's Resolution I offer for Lloyd Blankfein is that he keep up the great work.
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