This bill will empower government bureaucrats to control compensation plans that will threaten the safety of financial institutions, or adversely impact economic conditions or financial stability. Have no fear, the newly hired experts will figure this part out, what it means and how to implement it, and they will diligently look after your interests.
We should remember that this is the same Administration and Congress that couldn't even track the bailout money, or put strings on the money to restrict it from getting dished out in the form of bonuses. This is also the government that threw those billions at financial institutions on the pretext that they had to be bailed, to avert a depression, yet no one in government could tell you where that money actually went. So how was it, exactly, that those bailout billions were allocated? The toxic assets could not be defined or audited, which means that the fear mongering and threats were outright lies. Wall Street skunked this Administration, as well as the last one, and as a result a colossal extortion of the taxpayer was allowed. Did anyone making these horrendous decisions ask the hundreds of thousands of businesses from coast to coast what their banking preferences might be?" Would you rather deal with a gigantic-too-big-to-fail-market-dominant bank headquartered in New York, or a medium or smaller sized regional bank? When did "failure" get expunged from the dictionary of American Capitalism?
Government intervention has reduced competition in the banking sector, allowing the favored few bailout-receiver-therefore-government-backed behemoths to attract investor support, and has enabled their acquisitions of not so fortunate competitors. ""All of this frenzied government activity pretends to be response to the outrage against some of the insanity exercised by some like AIG, Goldman Sachs, and Morgan Stanley. The $11 billion plus, awaiting the bonusable at Goldman should soon make for incendiary fireworks, and support the government cause. Using public anger as cover to implement invasive measures is rather expected from a government that has failed to acknowledge or accept any responsibility for the environment that incubated the bubble which burst into a recession. Giving more power to vehicles such as the SEC for example, reminds us of the abject incompetence the SEC demonstrated through the economic extravagance that allowed Wall Street the power and influence to exploit, and then erode, the financial health of the Nation. Did the SEC also not have a front row seat to Bernie Madoff's implementation of an extensive 40 year long grotesque personal compensation program?
Sweeping expansion of government incompetence into corporations is an invasion that will not be reversed. Other more intelligent policies should be considered instead of launching clusters of bureaucrats to invade company offices in all corners of the country. One could consider implementing laws against monopolies, but it would be more effective to start with segregating the large banking institutions into more pure line of business sectors. It really comes down to reinstating certain portions of the Glass-Steagall Act that was repealed in 1999. Hundreds of millions were expended by the large banking institutions to achieve the repeal of the Act, therefore a reversal would be very difficult. Given the present climate of Washington dependence on Wall Street cash, even "difficult" might be a stretch, however, such reinstatement would bring back some peace of mind to taxpayers in the long-term.
James Raider writes The Pacific Gate Post