Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Melting Down

The mess is a result of a failed philosophy, deregulation and the Grover Norquist view of shrinking government to where you could drown it in a bathtub. Unregulated competitive capitalism, definitionally based on self-interest, is often not aligned with the public good.

There were two statutory measures that brought this on, the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act and the commodities modernization bill. Clinton COULD and should have vetoed GLB (he used the threat of a veto to get some changes in the bill) but he was in effect powerless against the CFMA, given that it was attached to a spending bill and Chimpy already had the keys to the Oval Office. That was the one that jumpstarted the derivatives and swaps trading (and included the Enron loophole).

From there we have executive (the Justice Department deciding that antitrust was a silly concept) and regulatory policy (GOP majorities on the CFTC, SEC, etc. that stood idly by) out of the Bush administration that alowed the disaster to take place.

Are the Democrats blameless? Of course not. Clinton (I never figured out why the Republicans hated him so, he was practically one of them, signing GLB, the CFMA, NAFTA, CAFTA, the telecomm act, etc.) signed the bills, the Dems in Congress rolled over. But this was the implementation of conservative ideology which just shows again that while they are better than the Democrats at politics in many ways, they are unfit to govern.

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