By Trent McCandless
Just moments ago, on the anniversary of Lehman Brothers bankruptcy, President Obama warned Wall Street against taking more reckless risks with Americans money. He told Wall Street that there would be no more bailouts and he credited the $787 billion ‘stimulus package’ for saving America from another Great Depression.
President Obama glared, “hear my words: We will not go back to the days of reckless behavior and unchecked excess at the heart of this crisis, where too many were motivated only by the appetite for quick kills and bloated bonuses.”
Reckless behavior? Unchecked excess? I believe the idiom is “the pot calling the kettle black”. But Obama’s reckless spending behavior aside, which has indebted our nation for untold generations to come, isn’t it actually government intervention that led to the problem in the first place?
Intervention Fixing a Problem Caused By Intervention
It is not “gaps in the regulation of U.S. banks and capital markets” that led to the subprime mortgage crisis and subsequent financial disaster; it’s the government regulation of the industry in the first place. The “gaps” do not need filling-in; they need to be repealed with all the rest of the existing unproductive and expensive government oversight.
President Obama’s’ speech is nothing more than a Hollywood show to seek additional support for his regulatory reform effort, the legislation that would increase government regulation in the finance industry, which has seen a marked decrease in support recently. This proposed legislation would add more SEC compliance measures and give more power to the Federal Reserve by setting a system in place for the seizure and liquidation of ‘troubled financial firms’.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not opposed to oversight within the industry—but, I’m not convinced that the kettle should be regulating the pot.
The government is simply not made up of finance and economic experts; it’s made up of career politicians. The finance industry should be run by finance experts and overseen by entrepreneurs with finance backgrounds who have what it takes to keep Wall Street on the straight-and-narrow. They need to have the freedom to oversee and regulate their own industry, as it’s apparent the government is not capable of this task they’ve been failing at since 1913.
What if it was you?
Consider your industry for a moment. Would you and your shareholders truly be better off if the government knocked on your door and forced compliance measures on your business? Don’t worry, that question is rhetorical.
Now, consider how we’ll be impacted not as businessmen and women but as citizens of this country. Are we, as Americans, going to be better off with this additional government intervention? That depends: define “better”. If broke equals better than the answer is yes, after all, who exactly is going to pay for all this additional government oversight? That’s right. You are, Mr. & Mrs. American Tax Payer. You didn’t think Ben Bernanke could create money out of thin air forever, did you?
If we sit idly, while the government digs its greedy fingers into the finance industry, it won’t be long before all industries are feeling lighter in the pockets and tighter around the neck.
Perhaps a certain economist expressed my sentiments best recently when he said, “Just get out of our pockets, off our backs and out of our way!”