[FoRK] The Wrecking Crew - A Low, Dishonest Decade

Ken Ganshirt @ Yahoo ken_ganshirt at yahoo.ca
Wed Jan 20 12:46:20 PST 2010

--- On Wed, 1/20/10, Bill Stoddard <wgstoddard at gmail.com> wrote:
> Correct, but completely useless, conclusion. 
> Government regulation is a simple fact of life.  We can
> work to reduce it but it will always exist and pretending
> otherwise is just pie in the sky idealism.  One of the
> recent problems is that wall street was willfully ignorant
> (maybe willfully negligent) in managing the obvious risk
> presented by cheap/free credit underwritten by the
> Fed. 

I'm sorry .... what risk? 

> The free money party HAD to end (and in
> predictable ways) and the risk management wonks in the
> ibanker shops clearly understood this.  Those risk
> managers were ignored.  

There was no risk. That's why the risk analysis wonks were ignored. If their fancy models picked up on it in the first place.

> Twisted analogy... if i leave
> my front door unlocked, is it my fault if a crook comes in,
> terrorizes my family and takes everything I own?  The
> Fed 'left the door unlocked', foolishly imho, yet that does
> not justify the equally foolish (greedy?) decisions of the
> real perps.

Why not? It wasn't actually illegal? ... Please note that, although I'm being literal I'm also being cynical. I agree with you in principle. But there are huge numbers who actually put this forward as a justification for the behaviour: if it's not actually illegal it must be okay. How the hell do you argue with that? 

My prefered reference source for such discussions:


> One point where we probably agree... the backlash
> regulation will probably hurt more than help. In fact, I'd
> wager a bet that MOST regulation that exists today has been
> so influenced by lobbiests that it actually benefits the
> interests with the deepest pockets. THAT's the real danger
> of regulation.. that it doesn't serve a just & common
> cause.  Any regulation that arises from the current
> meltdown is likely to contain, by design, easily game-able
> aspects.  Watch and see.

Can you say, "No-brainer"? 

The truly sad thing is that there are many otherwise smart people who won't see it coming, won't recognize it when it happens and will deny it after the fact. Or blame it on the law of unintended consequences.

There is not nearly enough cynicism in the world. Too damn many cheerleaders and biblethumpers, e.g. "Everything will be okay if we just [keep a positive attitude/trust in God/Pick One]".

         ...ken... (Sorry. My back is killing me today and Robaxacet doesn't work on human flesh like it works on those wooden dummies in the commercials (Whoda thunkit??). Perhaps some Scotch, applied internally...)


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