The Crash: Cranking Up the Reform Machine

A welter of investigations ponder new limits on the marketplace

No one fully understands the complicated mechanism that drives U.S. financial markets, but after Black Monday everybody seems determined to fix it. Last week the engines of reform revved up in earnest as a parade of banking, economics and stock-market experts wended across Capitol Hill in an extraordinary series of hearings, press conferences and closed-door lobbying sessions.

At latest count, the October crash had spawned more than half a dozen important investigations. One was a special three-person task force announced on Oct. 22 by President Reagan and headed by New York City Investment Banker Nicholas Brady. Its mandate: to study the...