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Beat The Clock!

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Message Michael Fox

There are seven months left until elections, and while the results in November can’t be considered a foregone conclusion, it’s clear to the die-hard disciples of Milton Friedman that things are going to change.  But those gilded sultans of Wall St., have unfinished business that needs tending to, and the race is on.  Their ultimate nefarious goal is to deregulate brokerages and banking by privatizing the government’s fiduciary duties through the Fed.  They want financial anarchy, serving only their interests – and they only have seven months to push it through . 


Who would want to do such things?  Why, the same players who have brought the world economy to the frightening place at which we now find it, of course.  It is beyond theoretical economics for these people, as I have written here before: it is their religion; the very core of their belief system, and, in spite of the myriad facts proving it so spectacularly false in its 26-year real-world application, they will not stop until their goal is fulfilled.  Try telling a Creationist that Abraham didn’t have a pet dinosaur like Fred Flintstone, and he’ll look at you like you’re crazy.  Try telling Atlas shrugger Alan Greenspan that our government is entitled to have oversight of the bankers, brokerages, and insurance industries servicing our money and it won’t even register. 

 Greenspan affirmed in the Financial Times that “the ideology I display…defines that set of ideas that we each believe explains how the world works and how we need to act to achieve our goals. Some of our views of causative forces are rational, some otherwise.”  His clearly fall entirely under “otherwise.”  He goes on to say that, “Even with full authority to intervene, it is not credible that regulators would have been able to prevent the subprime debacle.”  I would disagree, and suggest that had the teeth not been extracted from regulators, the unprecedented proliferation of valueless securities would never have been allowed.   

Greenspan’s illogical face-saving claim is that the Fed bears no responsibility whatsoever for the present international financial meltdown.  You’ll find that he’s spending his gilded retirement lobbying - via posts in foreign press outlets - for further deregulation and greater empowerment of the Fed itself, and, as the Federal Reserve Board is comprised of executives from major banks and brokerages, the whole effort smacks of the purest form of Fascism.  But that should come as no surprise.


Arguing against the movement to consolidate power at the Fed are three former heads of the Securities and Exchange Commission, who, for better or worse, at least are able to recognize its importance.   I recommend reading their opinions, although Arthur Levitt, who ran the Commission throughout the Clinton Administration, does not go far enough in his opposition to the proposed deregulations, as he supports a proposed merger of the SEC and the Commodities Futures Trading Commission.  But then, in 1999, Clinton signed the repeal of the 1935 Glass-Steagall Act, which placed a firewall between banking and brokerage to begin with. 


But the toothless SEC doesn’t even have dentures!  In spite of its mandate to have a bipartisan board - generally three from the party of the sitting president, and two from the opposition – the board presently has two vacant seats.  You guessed it- it consists of only three Republicans.  The two Democratic seats have been vacant since 2005. 

And there are seven months left.

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Michael Fox is a writer and economist based in Los Angeles. He has been a corporate controller, professor, and small business entrepreneur. After a life-altering accident, he spent five years learning more about medicine and the healthcare (more...)
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