Friday, April 22, 2016

Wall Street Becoming a Government Subsidiary

Today's Wall Street Journal reports that regulators now want to place stringent pay controls on Wall Street executives.  What's left?  Dodd-Frank eliminated the most profitable businesses in Wall Street by fiat and now wants to controll pay decisions, formerly left up to the company itself. The government has left little or nothing for Wall Street firms to control.

Once the government controls every aspect of what a company does, the company is nothing more than the government itself.

The irony of this is that Wall Street played a follow-the-leader role in the housing collapse of 2007-2008.  That collapse was engineered by politicians, interestingly named Chris Dodd and Barney Frank.  Those two luminaries forced Fannie and Freddie (the two big GSEs) to go off the deep end in the residential mortgage market, starting in 2003.  By 2007, Fannie and Freddie owned more than half of all the mortgages in the US.  This fueled the subprime housing market bubble and caused its subsequent collapse.  Wall Street was an innocent by-product of this government-led fiasco.

But, Wall Street is an easy target for the uninformed and is now a moribund arm of an ever growing government bureaucracy.  That doesn't bode well for future economic growth in the US.

No comments: