We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
I read the headline of this article, and expected to see a discussion on why Wall Street is indispensible. Instead I found a discussion on the election and specifically Romney. It's clear he's going to be the Republican nominee, so it's probably best to start cleaning up his somewhat tarnished image. I agree with much of the commentary. But there are a few comments and insights which should be shared.
First, the economy can function without Wall Street. You don't need a capital market in order to have a functioning economy. It's useful to have a capital market, it makes acquiring capital for progress much easier. In fact, stock corporations were originally performed to raise revenues for large projects which were determined to be 'outside the scope' of government responsibility. What most people are critical of is the very concept that Wall Street considers itself indispensible, and uses that as a lever to charge very large fees and pay outsized salaries. These are not required for a fully functioning economy. I'm not opposed to a person making, or earning, whatever he or she can. But even the corporate titans of the Gilded Age put some of their more public displays on hold during times of economic duress.
Second, as a Libertarian, I'm usually opposed to the government regulating anything. But I admit there are some instances where oversight and enforcement are required. The question is - what KIND of oversight and enforcement? Certainly not the kind we're seeing out of this administration:
Ross refers to the Dodd-Frank Act as "at best a very generalized blueprint" that addresses regulators' concerns, and he worries that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which was established as part of Dodd-Frank, will have unforeseen consequences for Wall Street and Main Street.
"I think the regulatory uncertainty and the growing fear that this agency (CFPB) will be witch-hunting are definitely impeding bankers' willingness to make loans," he says.
Sarbanes-Oxley has done nothing to stop the fraud it was supposed to stop. It has added several weeks of work to the audit process in many companies, though. In other words, usually regulations result in nothing but increased costs of doing business.
Finally, I was amused to see Bain Capital misspelled as 'Bane' at one point. I would hate to say this is deliberate, but given my cynicism toward journalists today, I am likely to believe it was. Then again, spelling isn't a strong point with journalists these days. It's a rather unfortunate sign of the times.
I don't know how you can write both "I admit there are some instances where oversight and enforcement are required." and "Sarbanes-Oxley has done nothing to stop the fraud it was supposed to stop" and "usually regulations result in nothing but increased costs of doing business" in the same article.
Any legislation will either be ignored, not achieve its intended goals or will be circumvented.
"Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again but expecting different results."
We need to stop legislating things that are not or should not be enforced. The solution is an educated public and not the government.
It's a question of the manner and method of oversight or enforcement.
Sarbanes-Oxley was a complete waste of time and money.
I'm not opposed to the SEC, however. I'm opposed to it as it currently operates. The SEC could provide valuable oversight and enforcement if its role was simplified and designed to be more effective and efficient.
I agree that educating the public will go further than overregulation. On the other hand, an educated public won't prevent future Madoffs. Neither will the SEC, necessarily. But if its rules were enforced properly, Madoff would have been prevented by the SEC.
Defense against fraud is a just task for government. Requiring periodic disclosures, verifying statements and prosecuting violators are all I ask of the SEC. Think of it as “weights and measures” for bookkeeping.
I wish the Romney campaign would ignore complaints about his so-called inability to connect with the average joe. I am pretty much an average Josephine and what I am looking for in a president is competence. I don't have to agree with everything he or she does, but I want a reasoned explanation for policies adopted and a set of advisors who are not political hacks from places like Chicago.
If Romney takes an Oprah turn and gets all touchy feely I am going to have to vote third party (again!).