Osprey, Mono Lake © Robert Sommers 2023

Friday, March 19, 2010

Wolves and the henhouse.

The subprime mortgage market collapse does “not warrant a fundamental overhaul of the basic regulatory structure. Banking regulators… have since responded in a coordinated and measured way to preserve both confidence and liquidity in the banking system.” – American Bankers Association President Ed Yingling, November 20, 2007

The American Bankers Association is pressing hard in Washington this week to lobby  against a myriad of efforts to protect the American consumer, including stricter credit card regulation, the institution of a consumer protection agency, forcing national banks to abide by state laws, proposals to end risky trading practices by banks, and an end to the scary derivative shell game that helped take down Merrill, AIG and ultimately the american economy.

The 900 member group got a pep talk from congressional enabler John Boehner, who urged them not to be intimidated by congressmen and their "punk staffers." I took special note of the words from one banker from Michigan, who was quoted in the Washington Post as saying,"We're not going to sit silently while we are blamed for problems that were caused by others."

Hmm. It is amazing to me that a group that has received so much from Joe Taxpayer can so readily show us the back of their hand. They are blameless, because government regulators should have been smarter at catching them at their game. It's like the fox blaming the farmer for not building a better door on his chicken coop.

Other industry groups have been equally displeased about pending regulation, including the usurious payday loan companies and the United States Chamber of Commerce, which never misses an opportunity to put a nail in the side of the american consumer.


I was reading the other day about the California gas bureaucrat Floyd Leesonwho never disclosed that he had a big position in one of the firms he was supposedly regulating and fast tracked a bunch of sweetheart deals to his peeps. He has since resigned but the damage has been done. We need to find a way to stop the revolving door between the regulators and industry and put some of these people in jail.


Losing my site yesterday was a total freakout. Not having a hard copy of the blog was scary since there are a few things that I have written that I would probably want to reread some day. I made an xtml copy yesterday when I finally found, revitalized and resuscitated the beast and need to copy it somewhere else.
I was pleased to see the number of emails I received from readers and lurkers who noticed that I was missing.

It is obvious that cyber warfare is still in its nascent infancy. There is too much readily available information around for really nasty shit not happen. If you have enough money or work for an information company like let's say, Google, and somebody pisses you off, how hard would it be to make somebody's cyber footprint and history vanish in thin air? Accidently, like. Change the past with a few keystrokes.


Of course the farther we get from an actual event, the more apt we are to view it through a distorted lens. I am glad for efforts like the Shoah Project, which documents the first hand stories of holocaust victims and those that rescued them. The deniers are certain to claim that it is all dummied up. Nutty and paranoid conspiracy theories should only get worse in the coming years as our reliance on third party aggregation information sources increases and we get even further removed from empirical fact and reality.

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