Wasn’t it just one war ago that government officials dressed in their dark black swat outfits safely ensconced in blacked out SUV’s drove thru the streets announcing our personal freedoms would have to be put on hold! That in order to fight the axis of evil you and I would have to forgo American mainstays such as our Constitution, freedom of speech and the right to travel on airplanes without taking our shoes off!! And was it not their mantra that unless we committed to giving them all the authority they wanted we were as good a Terrorist ourselves?
Well don’t blink; here they come again, only this time, terrorist are not the bad guys. This time the nefarious evil doers are our greedy money making get the cash never worry about tomorrow Wall Street money changers and you! The government’s goal this time is to protect us from not only ourselves and that nasty habit we have of putting milk and eggs and Mickey D’s on our credit cards but from the very tenets of what being American is all about; that being the capitalistic system. Things have gotten out of hand for sure, but the new Treasury Secretary is seeking more power to quell any company that might get us into this mess again. That includes Banks, Insurance companies, Credit Card Companies, Real Estate firms, Hedge Funds and any other enterprise where the opportunity to make it rich is great, and the risk for getting caught, not nearly as great as it was a deregulatory season ago. For those of you still living in your father’s world where Congress made laws that protected us from the likes of these companies, think again.
The laws and regulations that were on the books for sixty plus years and were surreptitiously stripped away one by one over the last dozen or so years that could have prevented what has happened. But we are led now to believe they are either gone or just too weak to protect us anymore; Ugh! Few would disagree that our present financial model and the laws we have to protect us are tragically outdated. Like comparing push carts to eighteen wheelers! It’s a global world economy, not Mom and Pop grocery stores banking at their local branches anymore. Trading on line is so simple that a kid on TV can push a button and do an, “E” trade before he’s old enough to be out of diapers. I get it. But what sits wrong with this reader is the placement of that new power to watch over and control in the hands of one person, visa vi, the Treasury Secretary. Wasn’t it the last guy who came to us a true son of Wall Street, who came up with a three page billions of dollars bail out that dam near got passed with little more consideration than you will give when deciding tonight whether to have fish or pasta for dinner! Didn’t this same man re-write the laws of banking so that banks could buy other banks and do it practically tax free? Then turn around and see that his bailout put billion in the hands of the banks with few strings attached?
No one doubts better control is needed over the companies such as AIG or Fannie or Freddie Mae, but the laws are on the books. Where are the indictments? We own eighty percent of AIG, yet are led to believe that we have no power to control the company? The bonus uproar is all but gone and Congressmen are stammering around going, oops, what were we thinking? Time we asked that same question to, before we put power such as this Treasury Secretary is asking for, in one mans hands as well !