May 072010
 

Did a typo or a technical glitch cause “a moment of uncontrolled selling” aggravating an already skittish stock market into a full-blown plunge? The old gray lady diplomatically labels it “an errant trade.”  But CNBC calls it a typo.

Meanwhile the fight over financial reform goes on. If some of it sounds hauntingly familiar, that’s because…it is.

Unearthing old arguments against corporate reforms of the past, columnist Michael Hiltzik finds opponents trotted out the same lame doomsday scenarios 75 years ago they’re offering today.

In 1933, writes Hiltzik in the Los Angeles Times, the American Bankers Association urged members to “fight…to the last ditch” an “unsound, unscientific, unjust and dangerous” proposal Congress was considering.

What kind of dangerous radical thing could those congressional crazies have been up to?

Federal deposit insurance.

Just like financial reforms of the 1930s, most corporate reforms, Hiltzik reminds us, almost always turn out to be positive for their industries.

At Baseline Scenario, James Kwak does a good job dismantling the arguments against auditing the Fed, the proposal which appears to have been the subject of a Senate compromise Thursday that would allow a substantial audit to go forward.

The Obama administration has been fighting the proposed audit arguing that it will “politicize” the Fed and that the ordinary flawed mortals who inhabit Congress don’t have the intellectual chops to oversee the Fed’s monetary titans. “The idea that monetary policy is too technical for Congress to understand, and therefore should be done in secret, I don’t buy,” Kwak writes. “So is, say, climate policy. That’s a complex scientific topic, of crucial importance to the future of our nation (and the human race), that is clearly beyond the ability of Congress to understand and discuss responsibly. But we don’t exempt the EPA from Congressional oversight.”

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 Posted by on May 7, 2010

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