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Good piece by Gretchen Morgenstern in the New York Times about how former Fed Governor Kevin Warsh doesn't think Dodd-Frank does enough to rein in the banking oligopoly.

I particularly like the connection he makes between policies favoring the big banks and our continuing, pernicious unemployment:

"CIRCLING back to the pernicious effects of large and politically interconnected banks, Mr. Warsh makes a direct link between the favors handed to these institutions and our disturbingly high unemployment rate. Small and medium-size banks, after all, are at a competitive disadvantage to the big guys, so they are less able to lend to companies of modest size, which do so much of the hiring in this country.

“The policy has favored large global banks and disfavored small and medium-sized banks,” he said. “So I’m not surprised that real economic and job growth that should come from these enterprises is still lacking. Our failure to have a dynamic competitive banking system is a partial explanation for the weakness we are seeing.”
Jeff Beamsley's profile photoJason Johnson's profile photoJeffrey Hamby's profile photoSamantha Appleseed's profile photo
good article, but there is a lot of diversity hidden in the term 'Big Banks'....not all are equal.
+Justin Arbuckle

That diversity vanished when it came to watering down the Dodd-Frank firewall against future financial crises...
a great compliment to read with this is in the April 30, 2012 Barron's I just completed. It is an interview with Niall Ferguson, Professor Harvard University by Vito Racanelli. Title = Is Americal Becoming an Anti-Risk Welfare State? Integrates questions and answers on Dodd-Frank. Most interesteng quote, What Dodd-Frank "actually does is institute a massive job-creation scheme for lawyers."
I have to agree. The first thing that we needed was a modernized version of Glass-Steagal and modernized does not mean weakened, as the big financial institutions would prefer.
Dodd Frank is a mes and does exactly what the Fed wanted it to punish smaller locally owned banks who did not create the crisis and make it easier for the Mega banks to compete with higher costs of regulations which they can easily absorb in their bottom line.

Also the hypocrisy here is pretty rich coming a Fed official claiming we need more transparency, when he worked for the largest private bank in the world, which refuses to be fully audited and made public.
We could start with transparency in the Federal Reserve Bank.
Because it tends to affect us negatively if we don't ;)
legislators they works for us and people have to let them know what we want!!
Oh, that's because someone has to watch the watchers.
+Juan Carlos Durán Unfortunately legislators don't work for the people who vote for them. They work for the people who fund their election campaigns. Those people include the financial industry who spent $5B of their own money in lobbying and campaign contributions from 1998-2008 to create the "free market" that nearly ran the global financial system off a cliff. In the process it also made many extremely wealthy. They took our money to cover their losses and are now working on ACT II. Go to Lawrence Lessig's site ( to learn what you can do about it.
+ jeff... do we really expect the people we have elected to represent us?
+David Keystone That is an interesting question about representative government. I guess I would answer this way. I expect the politicians that I vote for to reflect my collectivist view that government DOES have an important role in improving the lives of all of its citizens, particularly those in need. That is in contrast to the individualistic view that government is an impediment to personal growth and the sooner that those in need realize that they are responsible for their own condition, the sooner they will begin to take the necessary steps to change that condition.
Because that 99% is an inaccurate number.
Freedom and freeloading are not synonymous.
Companies of such scale become Predatory. They infiltrate Government because in many ways they are larger than Government. The People have lost all bargaining power. So there can be no sufficient ongoing regulation.

You can't have meaningful Political Democracy without functioning Economic Democracy. As the leading Social Philosophers of the US say; "Unless every institution in Society; industry, farming, communications, media, all of them; unless they're under popular democratic control by participation by the workforce and the community, Politics will just be the shadow cast over Society by big business."

So you can't have 'Government as a Platform' until this is solved. You may want to check The Chomsky-Foucault Debate [excerpt, part 1/2] +Tim O'Reilly

Plus it just makes sense that if we to have Democracy, it would be in the place where we spend most of our time, the workplace.

Making those changes is another story, since nearly all of us contribute to our Super Organisms that only care for power. CISPA & The MACHINE
What caliber should we use to shoot it?
Whatever caliber fits in personal liberty.
+Stephen Manning As +Samantha Appleseed so eloquently described, not every problem can be solved by a healthy dose of libertarian philosophy. Rampant unregulated capitalism inflated the bubble that nearly burst the global financial system. If you recall, Alan Greenspan, a Friedman disciple, admitted in the smoldering aftermath that free markets can't be trusted to regulate themselves.

Take a look at our 200+ years of capitalist-friendly government and you'll see that economic mobility increased when government regulated business activities and tax rates were highly progressive.
+Jeff Beamsley that was anything but unregulated capitalism. Federal law forcing loans to people who couldn't afford them, protectionist law allowing the banks to roll over the dirivitives allowing for a safe feeling by the purchasers, etc...
+Jeffrey Hamby Oh I get it. This was the wrong kind of unregulated capitalism.

How do you think all of those "protectionist laws" were passed?

The deregulation during the Reagan administration led to the S&L crisis.

The deregulation during the Clinton and Bush administrations led to the biggest global financial crisis since the Great Depression.

Notice a pattern here?

The financial industry spent $5B in the decade from 1998-2008 to warp government policies to benefit their industry and they got what they paid for. THAT is the free market at work.
+Jeff Beamsley by definition that means regulated capitalism. The US hasn't had anything remotely resembling unregulated capitalism in over a hundred years.
+Stephen Manning and none of those subprime mortgages would have existed if not for a bill forcing their creation.
+Stephen Manning #stayontopic.

The discussion was about defining regulated vs. unregulated capitalism, not ethics of laws.
Bo Tian
Federal Reserve needs more transparency!
+Stephen Manning "I suggest we give capitalism a shot."

We already have, so don't let anyone convince you otherwise.

In 1900 America was a Third World Country, half a century before the term was invented. Child Labor was widespread, ten year olds working in factories for fourteen hours a day, seven days a week. Adults working fourteen hours plus a day. Poverty was widespread. No Social Services to speak of, a few church soup kitchens and charities maybe. No social benefits, typhoid epidemics in our major cities, tuberculosis and other diseases of poverty. No Public Housing or Public Health programs, very little Public Education, no Public Libraries really.

Advances do not come naturally with Capitalism, that's what the country was in 1900... pure, free market, unregulated, undiluted, Capitalism - but massive margins of profits, massive wealth for the Melons and the Morgans and the Huntington's and the Hartford's, and the Rockefeller's and the Vanderbilt's, etc. More money than they knew what to do with, and you what they wanted after they got that money? they wanted more! and they would destroy whole communities to get more and more.
1900 was not a time of pure capitalism, though it was closer than now. And you're way off on social services. That was handled at the community level by churches, charitable organizations, and social clubs.

Also, the US was anything but a third world country. By that time we already competed with the world in manufactured goods and services.

It's really easy to push your story when you rewrite history.
And, the Melons, Rockerfellers, et al made their fortunes through government granted monopolies.
+Jeffrey Hamby obviously I don't mean literally, it was comparative examples of conditions that are currently considered 'Third World' by many.

If Free Markets worked, there would be an utopian place totally void of any regulation, where all the Free Market believers would live happily ever after in a prosperous and advanced society. But there's not. If you look at the Free Markets with the least regulations you find the opposite, poverty stricken, unbearable countries. Just like when Haiti was de-regulated into a free market paradise, "the next Taiwan" they said, ye right.
+Samantha Appleseed by that definition everywhere was a third world country. No air conditioning, not much in the way of sewage, etc

Capitalism has worked in every example throughout history. The problem is eventually someone comes along in power that wants to take from it to further their cause.. i.e. Boost reelection chances by propping up a segment of population (which has been proven to actually hurt that segment in the long run).

Don't get me wrong though. I believe a welfare system (one better managed than ours, and at a more local level) is a good thing when used to help people get back on their feet. Currently it's used as a political tool though.
+Jeffrey Hamby Sorry Jeff, but you can't make a statement like that and expect anyone to take it seriously without providing some supporting data. Every example through out history? Common.

Free market failures are rampant. The easy examples are all are things called externalities. Those are the by products of economic activity that aren't contained in the price of the good. One example are the paper mills that dumped PCB's in the water rather than dispose of them. The scale of the pollution and the cost to repair exceeds the value of the paper mill. The paper mill goes out of business and the community is left with the bill.

Libertarians are going to say that communities knowing they are going to bear the cost will require businesses to behave more responsibly.

Well in simple terms, that's what has happened in this country.

As we discovered that the free market couldn't be trusted, so we created laws at the local, state, and federal level which require businesses to act responsibly.

Libertarians also say consumers will become smarter about the products they consume and those who are irresponsible will be punished, but we have irresponsible manufacturing now that is outside the reach of US enforcement. Wallmart built a business selling these products at prices below the cost to make them responsibly in this country. The Wallmart parking lots are filled with trucks bearing the "out of job yet? keep buying foreign".

Wonderful philosophy. Bad policy.
+Jeffrey Hamby your delusional, almost the entire World is Capitalist and almost the entire World is poor. There are more torrid wastelands of free market countries than there are prosperous, countries which stagnate in their progress.

Free Market reforms even took Russia back into the third World. Even among the rich developed countries, there are heavy causalities, Spain at unemployment akin to the Great Depression, Greece like a war zone, Iceland Bankrupt, thrown Free Market believers out. Portugal and Britain not far behind. The number of people living in Poverty today is growing at a faster rate than the World's population.

America has more poverty now than it did 45 years ago. America's debt is arguably un-payable, more debt in past 3 years than the past 200 years. Capitalism in America has generally not worked for The People since the 70's, plenty of stats available.

Capitalism always works well for the Capitalists around the World, its just the People aren't doing too well, gross inequalities and stagnant wages(relative to inflation). 800 million starve each day and this number is ever growing.

'Successful'.. even in America, the most successful Capitalist country, it is has failed 11 times with 2 major meltdowns within a lifetime. There was a time when Capitalism was successful, that was a long time ago.

How many have died and still are being killed on a daily basis in resource wars which appease our Consumerism. Privatisation and De-Regulation has brought our planet to the brink of ecological destruction, yet still you call it successful. Its the most successful system yet, but successful? not anymore, only a sick person would say such a thing.
+Jeff Beamsley when consumers don't like the actions of a company they vote with their dollars. However, examples of government protecting companies that do environmental harm abound as well.

The lesson there is that some companies will do harmful things regardless of what type of economy they conduct business under.

Red herring.
+Jeffrey Hamby I get infuriated by such ignorance on such an important issue. I do try not to insult, but I fail, sorry for that Jeffrey, I'm sure your a nice guy, its not personal.
Speaking of ignorance, do you think our massive debt actually came from capitalism?
Chile comes pretty close, and their standard of living has increased enormously since opening their markets.
Europe is most definitely capitalist. In Europe you trade money for goods, time for money and so on. It's true that they have much better social protections than the states but given that the social security budget is at or above even the US military budget, it's hard to argue that Europe is fundamentally more socialists than the US. The US spends more money on social programs.

Personally, countries like Switzerland feels much more capitalist to me than the US ever has in my life. There are an endless amount of small businesses here, I can find a shop that specializes is any of my hobbies. The last time I was in the US looking for camera gear I was in a city much bigger than the Swiss one I live in but I couldn't find any specialist photography shops. Just big box crap stores that all sell the same lower end stuff. 
Indeed Jason, I lived in UK for 20 years, its most definitely Capitalist. State Capitalism, just like America. I didn't even know the UK was seen as Socialist until I came to America, then I was like? umm, first time I've heard that, that's not correct.
I don't think either of you understand capitalism.

The exchange of money for goods is not unique to capitalism, but can be found in communism, socialism, fascism, etc... Capitalism is private ownership of the means of production.

Socialism isn't defined by spending money on social programs either. Socialism is social or state ownership of enterprises (public transportation, utilities as examples).

Crony capitalism, which is what we currently have in the US, is where business depend on relationships with government officials.

All that said, there isn't a county in North America or Europe with a capitalist economy. Some lean that direction, but an economy gets further away from capitalism with more regulation, permitting, subsidies, federal ownership (US owning GM and GMAC stock, or EU nations owning trains) etc...
Means of production have long been privatised in the UK, I'm not sure what production your talking about?
The UK has socialized medicine, nationalized banks, trade unions, nationalized trains, all examples of socialism.
The US is the only First World Country without Universal Health Care, that doesn't make it the only Capitalist country. The UK did privatise trains but it became a train wreck. The banking sector is private, a couple were nationalised recently to cover their debts and will be re-privatised. Even parts of the NHS are being privatised, but the Public are fighting against it.

So there are parts of economy which are not pure free market, but the overwhelming majority of the economy is. Its just like saying the US isn't Capitalist because of NASA, or the Police force or Public Schools, etc.
I never said the US is capitalist. The US is a great example of crony capitalism with hints of socialism.

On universal healthcare I can't think of an example in the US of someone being deemed too old to treat, or doctors saying smokers and the obese shouldn't be treated. Go universal healthcare.
So the US removes Glass Steagall to make the markets less deregulated, more 'free'. As a result eight years later the financial institutions blow up and take the country into the Great Recession. Based on this alone I find its crazy that your still such a strong advocate of free market capitalism?
You left out the part where the faulty mortgages that triggered the problem were forced by the government, requiring lenders to give loans to people who could not afford them.

The banks, knowing they would lose money on them, acted maliciously in packaging them as derivatives and should have been punished.

Where Glass-Steagal comes in is the fact that the financial institutions were tied to private banking and our government decided to fund their losses with taxpayer money to prevent a run (wouldn't have been necessary if we didn't have a fractional reserve system).

Glass-Steagal had nothing to do with the cause of the crisis, just with what our government did with taxpayer money after the fact.
Without the Federal Reserve and fractional reserves, without the government forcing banks to make bad loans, and without governments gambling with taxpayer money on financial instruments most people didn't understand, the bubble and subsequent crisis wouldn't have happened.

With that in mind I can't believe you would decry capitalism.
In a free market that is void of economic democracy, wealth will always end up corrupting our Government and Crony Capitalism will always exist at a high level. There will always be legitimate excuses for what went wrong. This is why strong regulation is needed, like not giving banks free reign over our savings in the first place.
Sure, I agree with the thought that G-S is a good idea as long as we have the Fed. Without the Fed I believe it's wholly unnecessary.
+Stephen Manning fully agree on that, the Government does encourage these huge institutions to take huge risks. A good theory for small business perhaps, but obviously the problem of scale has been totally ignored.

Indeed it is Slavery, but there are multiple layers.., For example, the British now currently work four months a year for the banks without pay, essentially. The American debt is just too large to comprehend, but that will have to be dealt with also, and relatively soon. Then you have the past forty years in the US where despite the Country becoming richer, worker productivity increasing and working longer hours, 90% of Americans have 'lost' $3,000 in Income, inflation adjusted. All while the top 1% has 'gained' huge amount. The wages of the top 0.01% went from $2million to around $16million. That's institutional Slavery. But if your really open to the big picture, you could go back 150 years to when America was pushing industrial factories through the destruction of communities. Turning worker owned and run businesses into what the Workers called 'Wage Slavery', 'Gain Wealth, Forgetting all But Self' a demeaning and degrading doctrine that had to be driven into people's heads with great violence. The historic slavery of blacks has defused and distracted us from our own economic slavery.

Wealth is power, power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely. I don't like the current setup, its a veneer democracy and thus is more prone to corruption. Yet its what we have, so that's that. For example, if Mexican Drug Lords were corrupting our Police Force, it would be dull to get rid of our Police Force. You don't chuck the baby out with the bath water.

I don't like Ron Pauls approach, its savage and it will inevitably lead to increased Corporate Tyranny. In a one eyed con-trick he pits Liberty against Freedom, turning the word liberty into a tool of oppression. We should seek to expand Liberty where its beneficial, but not where its possible. Liberty is not something that's automatically beneficial, this should be obvious, there's good reason's for restricting Liberty. Expanding but also restricting Liberty can improve our life's in many ways. Another flaw of Ron Paul is that he is willing to put individual and economic liberty before its impact on Society. This is a fatal mistake, akin to putting profits before people and environment. Actually his whole ideology is a joke since you cannot expand Economic Liberty without Economic Democracy.
The only difference between freedom and liberty in this connect is that freedom is something people extract from government while liberty is granted by tyre people to the people. In libertarianism they're very close to the same thing.

It's pretty crass, and uninformed, to call it a con-trick. It's an ideology that's been around since long before you and I were formed. It's also one that you're making assumptions about based on what you've seen, but there are no examples of corporate tyranny that didn't either have government or end in disaster for the corporation.
Jeffery age doesn't validate an ideology, especially if that ideology is not generally supported. But this could get confusing unless you clarify what we're specifically talking about, since the modern libertarianism that Ron Paul pushes is relatively new and almost the opposite to what it historically meant, and different to what libertarianism means elsewhere.
It's not new and stems from Austrian Economics and Ludwig Von Mises.

And my comment about libertarianism want related to age, but that it's existed for quite a long time, and has already been scrutinized beyond the need for someone who thinks it's new to call it a con-trick.
No. Libertarianism in the US means extreme advocate of total tyranny. Its means power ought to be given into the hands of private unaccountable tyrannies, even worse than State tyrannies, because there the public has some kind of role.

The corporate system is already pure tyranny, completely unaccountable, your inside these institutions, you take orders from above, you hand it below, your outside the intuitions under what the Libertarians want. There's nothing you can say, tyrannies do what they feel like. They're global in scale. This is the extreme opposite of what's been called Libertarian everywhere in the World since the enlightenment. Yet that is what is pushed as Libertarian in the US.

If under conditions of perfect Liberty, markets 'may' lead to perfect quality. Yet perfect Liberty is not on the cards, so this is a kind of utopian fantasy. Its not even known if this theory would actually work, probably doesn't.
You begin with libertarianism leading to tyranny, and end with the fact that it's not known if it would work. It would seem you don't have a grasp on it yourself.

But you cannot blame what you describe as current corporate tyranny on libertarianism as the ideology, in your own words, doesn't exist currently.
Please, I said American Libertarianism may work in some Parallel Universe which had the perfect conditions for it, but certainly not in America today. The only way Libertarianism could possibly work was if there was some advanced establishment of Federations based on Anarcho-syndicalism. Then we could say, OK, now its beneficial to expand Liberty and remove the State Government.
And you base that on experience or guesswork?
There have actually been successful examples of this, some small, some industrial scale. No worthy present day examples, they were victims to violent destruction, relegated to history. But a great testament of the ability of poor people to organize themselves and be successful.
None of which you actually point out, just that they existed.
Thats nice and specific. Tell you what. I'm giving up here as this has turned into a waste of time. Op-Ed at best from you.
Excuse me but your tone has been partly ignorant and insulting, now you expect me to be a personal Google for you. Yet, I'm extremely nice, so..

There are small societies, small in number, that I think have done so quite well, and there are a few examples of large scale libertarian revolutions which were largely anarchist in their structure. As to the first, small societies extending over a long period, I myself think the most dramatic example is perhaps the Israeli kibbutzim, which for a long period really were constructed on anarchist principles, that is: self-management, direct worker control, integration of agriculture, industry, service, personal participation in self-management. And they were, I should think, extraordinarily successful by almost any measure that one can impose. Their history is rather interesting. Since 1948 they've been in the framework of a conventional state. Prior to that they were within the framework of the colonial enclave and, in fact, there was a subterranean, largely cooperative society, which was not really part of the system of the British mandate, but was functioning outside of it. And to some extent, that's survived the establishment of the state, though of course, it became integrated itself into the state and in my view lost a fair amount of its libertarian socialist character through this process, and through other processes which are unique to the history of that region which we need not go into.

However, as functioning libertarian socialist institutions, I think they are an interesting model that is highly relevant to advanced industrial societies in a way in which some of the other examples that have existed in the past are not. A good example of a really large-scale anarchist revolution -- in fact the best example to my knowledge -- is the Spanish revolution of 1936, in which, over most of Republican Spain, there was a quite inspiring anarchist revolution that involved both industry and agriculture over substantial areas, developed in a way which to the outside, looks spontaneous. Though, in fact, if you look at the roots of it, you discover that it was based on some three generations of experiment, thought and work which extended anarchist ideas to very large parts of the population in this largely pre-industrial -- though not totally pre-industrial -- society.

And that, again, was, by both human measures and indeed anyone's economic measures, quite successful. That is, production continued effectively; workers in farms and factories proved quite capable of managing their affairs without coercion from above, contrary to what lots of socialists, communists, liberals and others wanted to believe. And in fact, you can't tell what would have happened. That anarchist revolution was simply destroyed by force, but during the brief period in which it was alive I think it was a highly successful and, as I say, in many ways a very inspiring testimony to the ability of poor working people to organize and manage their own affairs, extremely successfully, without coercion and control. How relevant the Spanish experience is to an advanced industrial society one might question in detail.
+Stephen Manning not the modern American kind. That's an ideology that has been co-opted to boost Capitalist oligarchy. Very different to elsewhere and the opposite of the traditional meaning. For instance, Libertarianism cannot advocate a greater role to tyranny through greater economic liberty for Corporations.
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