29 Mar 2008

“If It Moves, Regulate it; If It Stops Moving, Subsidize It.”

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Ronald Reagan said: “The government’s view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases: If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it.”

Democrat Barack Obama promises to do all that:

In a major economic address at Cooper Union today, Senator Barack Obama called for immediate relief for homeowners hit by the housing crisis, modernization of our regulatory framework, and an additional $30 billion stimulus package to jumpstart the economy and help protect families from the economic slowdown. …

In his speech today, Obama made the case that while markets are the engine of American progress, the government’s role as umpire and steward is critical to the function of the free market. For too long, he said, special interests have been able to bend the rules to maximize their profits on the backs of hardworking Americans.

Obama pledged to restore confidence in the markets, tackle the housing crisis and protect families from the economic slowdown by:

Ø Creating 21st century standards for transparency and oversight of the financial system in order to prevent future abuses and crises.

Ø Providing immediate relief to homeowners hit by the housing crisis.

Ø Enacting a second stimulus package to stabilize and strengthen the economy, provide aid to homeowners and states hardest-hit by the housing crisis, and extend and expand unemployment insurance.

But who needs Obama? Even if the democrats don’t win, Republicans like George W. Bush, and certainly John McCain, will do nearly every bit of very much the same.

Bloomberg:

Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson is likely to call for the creation of new regulatory agencies with broad powers over lending, the securities industry and business conduct, according to the draft of a study he commissioned.

The report, which recommends more power for the Federal Reserve, also proposes combining the Office of Comptroller of the Currency — which dates back to the Civil War — and the Office of Thrift Supervision into a single banking overseer. In addition, the draft, which was circulated to government agencies this week and obtained by Bloomberg News, calls for the merging of the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

New York Times:

The Treasury Department will propose on Monday that Congress give the Federal Reserve broad new authority to oversee financial market stability, in effect allowing it to send SWAT teams into any corner of the industry or any institution that might pose a risk to the overall system.

The proposal is part of a sweeping blueprint to overhaul the nation’s hodgepodge of financial regulatory agencies, which many experts say failed to recognize rampant excesses in mortgage lending until after they set off what is now the worst financial calamity in decades. …

According to a summary provided by the administration, the plan would consolidate an alphabet soup of banking and securities regulators into a powerful trio of overseers responsible for everything from banks and brokerage firms to hedge funds and private equity firms.

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One Feedback on "“If It Moves, Regulate it; If It Stops Moving, Subsidize It.”"

Scott D

Human beings — at least those who haven’t grasped economics (which is to say almost all human beings) — desperately wish to believe that SOMEONE — God or the President (the latter often confusing himself with the former) — can, like Mommy, kiss it and make it all better. All we have to do is pull this lever, push that button, turn that dial and everything will be fine. You no longer need concern yourself with the difficulties of making a living or the random shocks that life can bring. So soothing. President FillintheBlank will do it all for you. Because he and his friends are all knowing, all powerful and can, like King Canute, stop the tides (under the right circumstances). We’ve all seen this movie, and it ends when Dorothy wakes up in Kansas.



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