Jul 24, 2012
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TBTF = TBTR?

Does “Too Big To Fail” also mean Too Big To Regulate?

Gretchen Morgenson talks with Neil Barofsky, former special inspector general for TARP (the Troubled Asset Relief Program) about his new book, Bailout:

“So much of what’s wrong with Dodd-Frank is it trusts the regulators to be completely immune to the corrupting influences of the banks,” he said in the interview. “That’s so unrealistic. Congress has to take a meat cleaver to these banks and not trust regulators to do the job with a scalpel.”

Finally, Mr. Barofsky joins the ranks of those who believe that another crisis is likely because of the failed response to this one. “Incentives are baked into the system to take advantage of it for short-term profit,” he said. “The incentives are to cheat, and cheating is profitable because there are no consequences.”

Read her piece here.

Meanwhile Gar Alperovitz finds a surprising source of support for nationalization of banks that are TBTF and TBTR:

Most liberals in Washington — President Obama included — keep hoping the banks can be more tightly controlled but otherwise left as is. That’s the theory behind the two-year-old Dodd-Frank law, which Republicans and Wall Street are still working to eviscerate.

Some economists in and around the University of Chicago, who founded the modern conservative tradition, had a surprisingly different take: When it comes to the really big fish in the economic pond, some felt, the only way to preserve competition was to nationalize the largest ones, which defied regulation.

Read his column here.

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