January 12, 2012
I would hope that the speed with which the financial industry nearly sucked all of the air out of the global economy after the repeal of Glass-Steagall would be ample and sufficient reason to implement the Volker Rule swiftly, firmly and comprehensively.
The Masters of the Universe, with one exception I will mention below, are incapable of learning – witness the testimony of Messrs. Blankfein, Dimon, Kelly, Lewis, Logue, Mack, Pandit and Stumpf before the House Financial Services Committee in 2009. Witness further the recent actions of Jon Corzine, former Master and former public servant.
The quants also cannot avoid blame. After finding themselves unemployable as economists because economists cannot predict the future, they took their pictographic confabulations to the Wizards of Wall Street, assuring their masters that US housing prices could never go down – because they never had. Unfortunately, their models only went back 60 years – missing the Great Depression and nearly bringing on another one. Is it any wonder economists cannot predict the future – they cannot even learn from the past?
Only one person involved in the destruction of trillions of dollars of wealth of American and global citizens (creative destruction?) earns even a small amount of respect from me. Following is the testimony of Alan Greenspan before Congress:
Representative HENRY WAXMAN (Committee Chairman, Democrat, 30th District of California): You found a flaw in the reality...
Mr. GREENSPAN: Flaw in the model that I perceived is a critical functioning structure that defines how the world works, so to speak.
Rep. WAXMAN: In other words, you found that your view of the world, your ideology was not right. It was not working.
Mr. GREENSPAN: How it - precisely. That's precisely the reason I was shocked, because I've been going for 40 years or more with very considerable evidence that it was working exceptionally well.
Translated from Greenspan-speak: For 40 years I thought the market could correct itself. I was wrong.
Non Carburetum Illegitimum.