(9 am. – promoted by ek hornbeck)
First, they learned that financial markets are hyper-sensitive to steroids, lack of law enforcement, and time-tested shock doctrine principles, and that they can profit mightily from destroying capitalism.
Insert a shitload of obscene charts about here.
Second, they learned that they “own the place,” “the place” meaning “the potemkin government,” “no longer applicable laws,” “the future wealth of all dispossessed generations of slaves, thralls, and hostages;” and “owning” meaning “complete mastery of all worldly possessions unto the end of the earth and beyond.” Third, they learned that no lies are too big to tell. Fourth, they now keenly understand that the religion of financial growth is the most powerful Kool-Aid invented, and now it’s just a matter of getting everyone on the plane to Jonestown.
Here’s Hank Paulson in yesterday’s NYT, advising Congress on how to reform the financial sector:
Rather than dictating a set of rules that will become out of date as the markets evolve…
Obviously, Paulson’s jacking off under his desk when he writes this shit, and writing that particular subordinate clause resulted in an involuntarily penetrating and messy intromission into his fist.
Paulson then starts fantasizing about the complete merger of business and government that worked so profitably last year on an ad hoc basis:
As for our domestic approach, we now have different government regulators focusing on the individual trees, and we need one regulator accountable for looking at the entire forest. My preference is for the Federal Reserve to be the systemic risk regulator, because the responsibility for identifying and limiting potential problems is a natural complement to its role in monetary policy.
Simultaneously trashing Elizabeth Warren’s idea of creating a consumer protection agency:
Congress, however, seems to be moving toward having a council of regulators perform this function. While that is not my preference, I believe a council can be workable if it is led by either the Treasury secretary or the Fed chairman, and is structured to ensure that strong decisions are reached quickly in a crisis. Too many such panels in government act by consensus, allowing a single member to render the council immobile.
Whereas the Fed and Treasury officials can act as official minders presiding over regulators.
Paulson admits that the “too bigs” are now, in fact, “too bigger,” then offers a pile of nonsense on how no one should be considered “too big to fail” at taxpayer expense, and that we need regulators, but regulators suck, so moral hazard should be back on the table instead. (Until it isn’t.)
No systemic risk regulator, no matter how powerful, can be relied on to see everything and prevent future problems. That’s why our regulatory system must reinforce the responsibility of lenders, investors, borrowers and all market participants to analyze risk and make informed decisions. This is possible only if everyone understands that no financial institution is too big to fail, and that its investors and creditors will have to bear the consequences if it does.
There are two take-aways from Paulson’s appeal to the wisdom of the markets. First, Paulson will be relying on the “nobody could have predicted” argument in the future. Second, bailing out the zombie banks last time was a major teaching opportunity wasted.
Paulson’s finishes his endless toxic bullshit on financial non-reform with what at first appears to be a spectacular non-sequitur:
We must also tackle what is by far our greatest economic challenge – the reduction of budget deficits – a big part of which will involve reforming our major entitlement programs: Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security.
Until you realize that this kind of thinking is all part of the zombie hunger pangs: Feeding the zombie banks created a crushing debt burden, so now we have to eat your entitlement programs.