Commentary: What are next steps in banking reform?

As the nation still struggles to recover from the worst economic meltdown since the Great Depression, one thing that is missing is a sense of urgency about preventing a repeat disaster. Given the populist outrage over trillion-dollar bailouts, you'd think Congress would quickly work out new rules of the road to prevent the next catastrophic financial pileup.

Instead, Washington, D.C., has a serious case of the slows.

Congress only recently established a bipartisan financial reform commission, which is just starting work and won't report until December 2010. It could easily become an excuse to do nothing until then.

Alaska's congressional delegation has no one on any of the key financial reform committees, so all three members are in wait-and-see mode.

Asked by the Daily News for brief e-mail statements on financial reform, Sen. Lisa Murkowski and Rep. Don Young seem most concerned about an overreaction that could lead to over-regulation.

"We need to make sure that banks are operating in a safe and sound manner," Murkowski said. "... However, we must also guard against over regulation that could unnecessarily stifle capital formation and innovation, thereby slowing economic growth and job creation."

To read the complete editorial, visit The Anchorage Daily News.