Over the years, federal agencies have been defunded, their workers have grown dispirited, their managers, drawn in many cases from antiregulatory organizations, have seemed to care far more about industry than the public.
And while today’s chastened Democrats might be ready to reregulate the banks, they are no more willing to scrutinize the bad ideas of the Clinton years than Republicans are the bad ideas of the Bush years.
“We may now need to be reminded what Wall Street was like before Uncle Sam stationed a policeman at its corner,” Pecora wrote in 1939, “lest, in time to come, some attempt be made to abolish that post.” Well, the time did come. The attempt was made. And we could use that reminder today.
Well said. The incredibly dire current economic results should encourage some thought about choices we have made. The failures of the political leaders (putting their donors interests above the public interest) is something that should be investigated seriously. The economy declined 6.3% in the fourth quarter of last year and 6.1% in the first quarter of 2009. And we have paid several hundred billion to bail out bankers; the same bankers that had congress repeal the regulation that prevented such enormous failures in the past.
It would be nice if we at least learned our lesson, but I don’t think we are remotely close to learning our lesson. There seems to be some tilt away from the most egregious excesses of the last 25 years of financial deregulation. But only minor adjustments around the edges seem to be under consideration at this time.
Related: Failing to Understand the Capitalist Economic Model – Looting: Bankruptcy for Profit – Leverage, Complex Deals and Mania – Lobbyists Keep Tax Break for Billion Dollar Private Equities Deals (2007) – Congress Eases Bank Laws (1999) – Why Pay Taxes or be Honest – Failure to Regulate Financial Markets Leads to Predictable Consequences – Losses Covered Up to Protect Bonuses – Bankers Bet Billions and Lose (guess who pays? Not them) – Uncertain Economic Times