Discouraging news from Washington today. It seems like the enemies of the benign free marketplace are set to triumph over the protectors of the right of every American to get hosed by an unregulated banking industry.
Yesterday it was revealed that Lehman Brothers, before it coughed up other people’s money and died, used an alter-ego called Hudson Castle, which it controlled, to conceal its debt and associated risk. This is the kind of thinking that will be cruelly squashed if these foes of unrestricted creativity get their way in Congress. The signs are increasingly grim in this regard. The Wall Street Journal reports this morning that “Wall Street giants… had been pressing hard in recent days to dilute provisions of the bill that would change the rules for derivative trading. But the Obama administration, which has made this one of its priorities for the financial-regulatory bill, has pushed back hard and appears to be succeeding. ”
Naturally, the protectors of our economic growth in the Republican Party are doing their best to stand fast in the fight for the under-regulated marketplace. In doing so, these courageous voices for liberty represent the interests not only of Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase, and Morgan Stanley, the firms who have been leading the financial freedom-fighters from the right flank, but for all who value license over restraint, unfettered access to profits by the strong, and the creative spark that has fueled the American Dream for those already quite wealthy.
Those who are with these imperiled interests — the time is now to stand up! To take the flag from their failing grasp and raise the standard high!
If you believe in the right of financial institutions to sell you derivatives that are insufficiently capitalized — stand up!
If you believe that people who have money should be able to offer loans to anybody, regardless of their ability to pay them back, repackaging those loans until it takes a forensic accountant to figure out who owns them — speak!
If you believe in the right of those who hold your money to move around loans as if they were assets and assets as if they were debt — be counted!
If you believe that the creativity of Wall Street should be a force for enormous gain for those who know how to manipulate the tools of investment capital, and that their prodigious wealth will somehow reinvigorate our stalled economy — speak up now or forever hold your peace!
If you yearn for the days where somebody could offer you 20% per year on your money without being investigated by the SEC, when all the operations in Washington were run by proponents of freedom and economic liberty — find your voice!
The ship of state is sailing. We are heading into a dark Sargasso sea of rationality, responsibility and constraint, and soon it will be too late. Speculators of the world, unite! We have nothing to lose but our chains!