Possible discussion point: change Wall Street can live with.
To listen to President Barack Obama and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Democrats have crafted a sidewinder of a bill. It's so tough, explains the president, that Republicans now must protect their wealthy Wall Street "movers and shakers" by trying to sabotage it. The industry is so worried, he claims, that their lobbyists are engaged in a "furious effort" to kill the legislation. If you buy this, the majority also has a synthetic collateralized debt obligation to sell you.
Here's an alternate narrative: Democrats did spend the past year threatening to unleash hell and all its furies on the financial sector, and in response a petrified Wall Street rushed to buy protection with millions of dollars in Democratic campaign tithes. The party in power then produced legislation that—while bad in many, many ways—is something the biggest players can live with. When Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein last week told Congress he was "generally supportive" of the Democratic bill, he meant it.
Business as usual. But I seem to remember all this talk about change.