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« Our Government in Action | Main | The Credit Crises »


Tricia Kameika

I couldn't agree more! Our democracy is over. Kings and Queens that rule the peasants. No opportunity for advancement. That is why American is starting to look more like a socialistic government. The CEO'S stole billions of dollars away from the tax payers and we let it happen.

Eric Osterberg

I am curious about what percentage of these greedy CEOs are Democrats and what percentage are Republicans.

Eric Osterberg

Nicholas Vakkur


Your advice and commentary is as keen and insightful as always. While I generally loathe the opportunity to differ with the "Zen Master", I must briefly disagree on a few minor points. The private sector is grossly imperfect. Nevertheless, it is not the source of the current malaise, and remains, in my view, more efficient and less corrupt than the public sector.

Note the following:

1. Washington was warned of these problems as they developed. Rather than address the issues at Fannie/Freddie, certain politicians attacked those voicing concerns. Fannie/Freddie are not private corporations, yet one CEO who oversaw the meltdown received $60 million in pay!(Presently he is an economic advisor to one of the candidates!) Interestingly, he has remained out of the press.

2. Government policy forced banks for many years to make loans to individuals who could not possibly afford to pay them back.

3. Congress enacted the costly Sarbanes Oxley Act as a pledge of investor security. Uncle Sam promised to monitor corporations for investors. Lehman, Bear, AIG, among others were all fully Sarbanes Oxley compliant. The costly law completely failed to achieve transparency in the financial markets.

Greed is a reality--in Washington and on main street. However, it is governmental action which created this problem. Rather than accept responsibility, Washinton now seeks to transfer blame as shamelessly as the Roman Curiae from the days of Caesar.

Currently, the US financial markets are the most regulated in the world. Maybe, just maybe:
1. The markets should be allowed to operate as intended.
2. Those who contributed to this wasteful/ineffective regulatory regime should be held personally accountable.
3. Politicians who were warned of these problems within the last 5-10 years and who responded by threatening others into remaining quiet should be tried and sent to prison.
4. There should be a moratorium on all new regulation, a freeze on all existing regulation (except the bare minimum) and government officials should be proscribed from publicly blaming others for government's own errors.

Rather than feigning hysterics for the TV cameras in regards to AIG's (wise) decision to spend $400k rewarding sales professionals who merited the applause, the government should investigate why an inept NY regulator(s) forced the removal of the very CEO who could have prevented AIG's collapse: Maurice "Hank" Greenberg. Once again, it was governmental action that cost US taxpayers $85 billion. Not only should the government should have to answer for its actions and policies, the public--politics aside--should be very wary of anyone who promises "new and effective" regulation to fix the existing problems created by government.

Nicholas Vakkur

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