Sunday, August 5, 2012

John Jay Myers on government regulation

My buddy John Jay Myers posted this gem on Facebook yesterday.  He's running for Senate, and here's where you can go to send him some money.
Here's a beautiful John Jay rant on the general uselessness of government regulation:
When the SEC wanted someone to give lectures, who did they hire?
Bernie Madoff. The biggest crook they could find.
Nasdaq made him its chairman; the SEC appointed him to industry panels; Congress invited him to testify.

Unfortunately the more power to regulate you give to government, the more they regulate in favor of their cronies, crippling the real competition, this is why the only real answer is to limit what government can do.
I'm trying, and failing, to think of any scams that the SEC prevented before they became full-blown disasters.  There's plenty of anecdotal evidence that regulators knew that Madoff was running a house of cards, but no one had the cajones to say anything. 
Is it possible that the best regulation for Wall Street would be 1) requirements that everyone will do what they say they'll do, and 2) hanging a sign at each end of the thoroughfare that says "Let The Buyer Beware"?  In the present system, players generally believe that the government has their back.  They don't. 

For those against "the big banks" the easiest way to bring them down would be to deregulate them. Why? Because who would invest in a bank 2000 miles away if you didn't think the government had your back?

You would look for a safer place to put your money, like a local bank where you knew the people running it. A bank where you could verify that they had private insurance to cover their loans. Private insurers would do a much better job of regulating banks than the government because they have a strong financial incentive to do so.

Knowing the government is not giving these companies a pass you might consider investing your money in your local economy as opposed to investing it in the stock market. Isn't that what most people would really like to see? Money going right back into their community?

If the government was out of banking then you would get a fair interest rate for your money because they would finally need your money. Right now they can borrow from the Fed at 0%, why do they need your money?

Lastly regulation means that somehow we, the American people taking responsibility for the banking industry, that Americans are ALL on the hook. I don't want to be on the hook for what a private business does.

It means they make the profits and we take the losses.
Willingness to say things like that is why John Jay would make a great senator. 

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