Thursday, August 28, 2008

Biden and Business Reform

Most of the commentary on Obama's decision to tap Senator Joseph Biden as his V.P. pick has focused on the foreign policy expertise that Biden brings to the ticket. But I think the implications for some of Obama's business reform proposals are at least as important.

Obama has suggested that he will support more federal regulation of corporations. And he has signaled his support for bankruptcy reform that would allow borrowers to write down the value of their mortgages in bankruptcy. He also has sharply criticized the major bankruptcy reforms passed in 2005, which made bankruptcy more difficult for consumer debtors.

Biden has been on the other side of most of these issues.

As a senator from Delaware, he fiercely protected Delaware's interest in state rather than federal regulation of corporate law. In bankruptcy, he was a leading Democratic advocate of the 2005 bankruptcy reforms, which were viewed by many as a valentine to the credit card industry, much of which is centered in Delaware. (He did vote in favor of the mortgage write down proposal this spring, but it was a fairly meaningless vote because it was clear the proposal wasn't going anywhere).

Whose views would be reflected in an Obama presidency? Although Biden can certainly be expected to adjust his perspective to more closely fit Obama's current positions in business reforms, his voice also could dampen Obama's enthusiasm for reform during an Obama presidency.

Read the rest of David Skeel's thoughts on the Obama-Biden ticket and business reform here.

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