Friday, February 3, 2017

Man of the People

Donald Trump, the man who positioned himself as the common man's shield against Wall Street, signed a series of orders today calling for reviews or rollbacks of financial regulations.

  Matt Taibbi
Of course he did.
[Trump] talks a big game when slamming the door on penniless refugees, but curls up like a beach weakling around guys who have more money than he does.


[Jamie] Dimon, [Steve] Schwarzman, [Larry] Fink and [Gary] Cohn collectively represent a rogues gallery of the creeps most responsible for the 2008 crash. It would be hard to put together a group of people less sympathetic to the non-wealthy.


The watchdogs who are supposed to be making sure the morons on Wall Street don't blow up the planet all failed: the compliance people within private companies, the so-called self-regulating organizations like the NYSE, and finally the government agencies like the OCC and the OTS.

These companies are now so enormous that they can't keep track of their own positions. Also, in sharp contrast to the propaganda about what brainy people they all are, many of them lack even the most basic understanding of the potential consequences of deals they might be making.


The enduring lesson of the financial crisis is that in markets as complex as this one, the most extreme danger is in opacity. The big problem is that these egomaniacal Wall Street titans want markets as opaque as possible.


This is why they want to get rid of the fiduciary rule, because they don't think it's anyone's business if they choose to bet against their clients (as Cohn's Goldman famously did), or overcharge them, or otherwise screw them.


Trump – a man who doesn't want you to see what's going on underneath his hair, let alone in his books – naturally sympathizes with Wall Street's efforts to keep the markets opaque. The obvious conclusion is that these orders will eventually lead us back to ballooning risk, overheated markets (the NYSE is already soaring) and speculative bubbles.
Frankly, I'm not sure T-Rump caved in the face of these banksters (although I wouldn't be surprised to find out he owes some of them big money).  I think it's more likely that his anti-Wall Street schtick during the campaign was just more of his bullshit to get votes.  He has no more scruples than an actual politician.

...but hey, do what you will anyway.

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