In his Monday New York Times column, economist Paul Krugman argued that at stake in next November's election is the future of financial reform, which has been thrown into jeopardy by what he considers a favorable ruling for MetLife in Federal District Court.
Judge Rosemary Collyer ruled that "regulators had failed to a cost-benefit analysis," which the law doesn't even require them to perform. "Financial crises," he wrote, "are drastic events; it’s unreasonable to expect regulators to game out in advance just how likely the next crisis is, or how it might play out, before imposing prudential standards."
Judge Collyer is, in effect, demanding regulators "quantify the unquantifiable," which is precisely what financial firms want, because it opens "the floodgates to a wave of challenges to financial reform." As Krugman noted, however,
It doesn’t have to happen. As with so much else, this year’s election is crucial. A Democrat in the White House would enforce the spirit as well as the letter of reform — and would also appoint judges sympathetic to that endeavor. A Republican, any Republican, would make every effort to undermine reform, even if he didn’t manage an explicit repeal...