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Sunday, October 19, 2008

Closing the barn door

I see that my law school acquaintance, now head of the federal Securities and Exchange Commission, Christopher Cox, is in The New York Times today, arguing that Congress should give his agency authority over the dangerous financial derivatives market, which has done so much to push the nation's financial system to the edge of the cliff. It's a great idea, but Cox is coming forth with it at least a decade too late.

It would have been nice if Cox had seen the light and voted for this sort of regulation during his 15 years as a member of Congress. But he was a Reagan acolyte representing blood-red Orange County, California, and regulating hotshot corporate America was a big no-no for a guy like him. I guess the smaller-government revolution is now officially over.

Comments (20)

Cox is a Putz. He should be ashamed. Another gangster on the Top 20 list that helped cause this 1929 depression. Walk into Standard TV and Appliance and ask how business is!

Cox seems like a very affable, if slightly clueless, fellow.

I don't think the S.E.C. has ever been more ineffective on Wall Street or Main Street.

Much of the current crisis could have been prevented (or significantly diminished), if the S.E.C. had been more aggressive in their enforcement of existing law and rules.

I don't know squat about regulations, but I do think that some of these people deserve jail time mucking out hog pens.


the winger commenters here seem to confirm that small govt. revolution is over.

Yeah Jimbo, it ended eight years ago. Unless you think "small govt" equates to the largest deficit in history.

ohhhh yeahhh, I forgot that the winger mantra of the month is: "This mess is W's fault!!"

ohhhh yeahhh, I forgot that the winger mantra of the month is: "This mess is W's fault!!"

It's partially W's fault. And he certainly has done anything during his tenure to promote fiscal conservativism. If my choice is between big government liberals and big government conservatives, I'm going with the liberals. Because at least they know how to run a government.

Bush has been a big spending lib and there is nothing but fantasy behind any notion that a President Gore or President Kerry would have done anything at all to prevent the credit/banking melt down.
They would have been the same willing accomplices all of congress/white house has been.

The idea that a Gore or Kerry S.E.C. would have provided some better "guidance" or controls is complete nonsense.

The idea that a Gore or Kerry S.E.C. would have provided some better "guidance" or controls is complete nonsense.

It's hard to imagine them providing worse "guidance" than Bush & crew.


What I find most annoying about all this is the brash, arrogant swagger these high finance guys used to exhibit roaming places where I worked as a waiter. There was the Arlington Club for example where I encountered David Rockefeller and such small-pond power types as Glenn Jackson. Don’t get me wrong: I didn’t envy them, I didn’t hate them, I didn’t even really have them in my world. I was a musician and I saw their trip as intensely dull. The whole financial game was dry like toast. It was absurd that anyone would pass on a life of rock and roll for that.
Of course, I did note a certain smug superiority trip going on, which I understood. Hell, I was smug about my life, too. Besides, if they were the Captains of Industry running our economy they deserved some respect. They had done well leading the world. We were mighty and our brand was awesome. Let them be smug – they deserved it.

Well, now that it turns out that the average waiter is 100 times better at the job than these losers, it all seems intensely annoying. Especially since the Wall Street screw-ups have kept the smug part.
We let these dull, gray men have their perks, their art collections, and their Park Avenue apartments, but the deal was they would take care of business. They didn’t. The greed was one thing – we could live with that - but they embodied something else: The wrong stuff, and that’s the most un-American trait of all. They were incompetent, and now they must pay.

As a point of information:

The entire archive repository of S.E.C. documents, from its inception in the 1930s and everything since, all 'hard copy,' was stored in the dozen or twenty upper floors of the World Trade Center Bldg 7 (WTC 7), and was obliterated when that third skyscraper was blown to powdered-dust smithereens, by the planted demolition explosives we witnessed incinerate the three skyscrapers in Nine-Eleven Op and, therein, destroying the 'institutional memory' of America.
(Including memory comprised in documents of Dubya's family's and grandpa's business deals which substantiated the Court conviction as guilty of Trading With The Enemy for Prescott's bank-loan cash to Hitler's Third Reich for soldier salaries and operating expenses.)

So, it's like, What S.E.C.?, what is this 'S.E.C.' you speak of?

Whereas Cox has done nothing to (re-)establish the S.E.C., or indict the plotters who conducted its ruin, now he stands appearing foolish as a king with no clothes, trying to wield a garb of authority which does NOT exist.

It's like, What S.E.C.?

"It's hard to imagine them providing worse "guidance" than Bush & crew."

That's just a convenient and empty comment.

Anyone in the Gore or Kerry administration's SEC would have taken the Barney Frank Chis Dodd approach and it is certainly possible that guidance could have been worse. But that's not my point.

The point is Gore or Kerry would not have
done anything to avoid this credit/banking meltdown. And that isn't an excuse for whatever Bush's role has been.

"They were incompetent, and now they must pay."

The City of Portland is run by incompetents and they are rewarded for it every election cycle.

More election ballots in 2000 were marked for Gore than for Dumbo, in Florida and across the country.

As Gore being President consequently meant that Nine-Eleven Op never could happen and be covered-up, (as plotted by the Bushbutchery Gang), then Gore was unlawfully denied his rightful term of office, (he got more votes, which is the terms for obtaining Office), and Dubya was installed instead by dictatorial fiat which too-many ignorant persons, young and 'human nature'-naive, were fooled to believe honorable by the forgery 'Supreme Court' brand on the treason.

Some persist in their fooled fictions even to this day as they are being butchered lifeless. Stone cold dead and Dumbo dunnit, to his idolatrous worshippers, same way as evil avatar Jim Jones dunnit it to his jungle flock: feeding them poisoned communion Kool-aid.

Look, Ben, go be with your peeps. They'll share their Kool-aid with you.

Study: 38 Percent Of People Not Actually Entitled To Their Opinion, May 23, 2007

CHICAGO — In a surprising refutation of the conventional wisdom on opinion entitlement, a study conducted by the University of Chicago's School for Behavioral Science concluded that more than one-third of the U.S. population is neither entitled nor qualified to have opinions.

"On topics from evolution to the environment to gay marriage to immigration reform, we found that many of the opinions expressed were so off-base and ill-informed that they actually hurt society by being voiced," said chief researcher Professor Mark Fultz, who based the findings on ...


You should Google "Electoral College" and then get over the popular vote.

We don't have a nationwide vote of the people, we have 50 individual state contests to choose electors. Within most of those 50 states, the winner take all methodology (and two party hegemony) requires that 30% to 48% of the population (who inevitably voted for the loser) will be effectively disenfranchised.

Sometimes, up to 49.99% of those who voted will see 100% of their state's electoral votes go to the "winner", as happened in Oregon in the 2000 presidential election.

Is it fair? Not really, not with any kind of mathematical or ethical certainty. But it is what is, and it was intended to produce clear winners even if the national popular vote supports the losing candidate.

It has worked with remarkable efficacy over the past 200 years, with two notable exceptions.


Who or what are my peeps?

I'm thinking maybe that Chicago study had a measurement of one's qualification for opinion making that was similar to including whether or not one believed in things like the "Nine-Eleven Op (as plotted by the Bushbutchery Gang)".

An instant disqualifier.

It's good that in your sea of opinions you ocassionaly put on full display your own most "off-base and ill-informed" thoughts.

Ben, you say you like humor, but do you actually know what it is?

"But it is what is ..."

... for now, and what it is is going to be changed. pdq

-The secondary market (the guys who buy mortgages from the initial lenders then repackage them as securities)was dominated by private buyers. Freddie Mac & Fannie Mae were already bit players by the time 2000 rolled around. Regulating them would not have in any fashion stopped the buying of mortgages and the repackaging them as securities. I don't recall any legislation to regulate the private secondary market.

-One problem is every time the SEC tries to do it's job members of Congress, acting on behalf of Wall Street money haul the SEC commissioner(s) before the banking committee and threaten to cut funding. Sen Lieberman and Sen Shelby (R-AL) threatened to do that when then SEC head (Levitt?) tried to make companies count stock options as liabilities.

-Aside: most of the lenders making mtg loans were not subject to the CRA; countrywide, ameriquest and all these little mtg companies like world financial, ownit!,lime financial etc were not covered by the CRA so don't blame the CRA for this mess.

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