Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns


Running Against Wall Street Privilege

I don't know if Walter Russell Mead's account of the housing bubble and financial collapse contains enough of the truth to form the basis for a populist Republican campaign in November of 2012.  I do know that this is brilliantly inflammatory writing:

The Democratic Party today is a fragile coalition of elite liberals, traditionally Democratic ethnic blue collar whites, African Americans and Hispanics.  The Fannie Mae story is essentially a story of how liberal Wall Streeters raped every one else -- and how the organized leadership of the other groups colluded in the attack.

Something about this narrative feels off, but I wonder if this perspective on the housing bubble and the financial crisis might be combined with some of the suggestions of regular NLT commenter Art Deco:

Revisions to financial regulation which might include the following: requiring exchange trading of swaps and derivative or banning credit default swaps or both; separation of deposits-and-loans banking from securities underwriting, proprietary trading, prime brokerage, and private equity; separation of securities underwriting from proprietary trading, vending of mutual funds and such, and any sort of business that involves investment counseling; separation of the vending of mutual funds and such from the provision of investment counseling; separation of proprietary trading from any other sort of business; abolition of insurance on financial products; excision of regulations which promote the disaggregation of mortgage lending; eventual liquidation of Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and Ginnie Mae; requirements that hedge funds and investment accounts be levered no more than 1:3; institutional provision for an authority which can (if possible) rapid roll up insolvent securities firms; provision for re-capitalizing banks and securities firms via debt-for-equity swaps; and provision for dismantling of the megabanks.

Maybe this would lead to good politics and (more importantly) good policy.  Heck, I dunno.

Anyway, this book is going on my summer reading list. 

Categories > Politics

Discussions - 3 Comments

Glory Hallejuah... Another thing in common - I have it on my list too - looks good. Although you might want to read some of the comments on Amazon - looks like the authors flubbed a few things...

Thanks for the info!

Kudos to Art Deco for being recognized; I'm sure a man appreciates such things, for there is only so long he will pay his dues.

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