It’s worth revisiting this Times story from Sunday that spells out just how much the pending financial-reform legislation relies on tough regulators to interpret how to enforce the law rather than telling them how to do it.

Story and Morgenson clearly show the pitfalls of that. They show how the government licked the banks’ boots at a time when the bankers were reeling—with no leverage. What do you think these internal discussions look like in better times, when the bankers are in full-steam-ahead mode?

Further Reading:

Goldman’s Backdoor Bailout: A call for transparency in the taxpayer rescue of Wall Street

The Press Angle of the Fed’s Backdoor-Bailout Cover-up: Geithner’s New York Fed responded to a FOIA by withholding more information

Audit Interview: Gretchen Morgenson. “You’ve got to keep hammering”

Audit Interview: Mark Pittman. “This is a defining moment for business journalism and for Wall Street.”

Bloomberg on AIG as Banks’ Backdoor Bailout

The New York Times’s Devastating Goldman Piece: Morgenson and Story unload on the bank’s conflicted business model

Ryan Chittum is a former Wall Street Journal reporter, and deputy editor of The Audit, CJR's business section. If you see notable business journalism, give him a heads-up at