29 Jun The Financial Regulation Fraud
I am not done commenting on this fraud being perpetrated on the American people foolishly called the “Financial Regulation Bill”. They ought to call it the “Damage the Flow of Capital Bill”, because there are some leftists supporting this atrocity that would not even object, and additionally, it is honest. But let me make a couple quick observations, some of them shared with me today by the CEO of a Wall Street firm.
1 – This “Volcker rule” that everyone is so gushingly fond of is the biggest joke in the entire bill (though it has competition). This rule says that Will Street firms can no longer trade or invest their own capital (though the revised bill allows it, with a limit of 3% of the firm’s capital). Okay. Sounds good, especially because Goldman Sachs trading their own book led to the financial crisis, right??? Well, actually – no. It had nothing to do with that, and everyone knows it. Lehman’s proprietary trading – nill. Bear Stearns prop trading – nill. Wachovia’s prop trading – I don’t believe they even had a prop desk. This is a farce. A lie. Pure window-dressing. Wachovia bought a subprime lender that had extended $120 billion of loans. Those loans are trading at about 60 cents on the dollar now. The firm had $40 billion of equity. Does anyone need help with the math? Don’t lend money to people who won’t pay it back and I bet you will stay in business. Proprietary trading is a red herring. I actually support putting CDS trades on an exchange, but we are wasting our time with this Volcker rule stuff.
(2) The “fiduciary standard” is a complete crock, and would have ruined the municipal bond market in this country. First of all, those holding themselves up as professional financial advisors (myself included) are almost universally held to the standard anyways (99% of my colleagues are, like me, dually-registered as both investment advisors and securities representatives). SOME buyers of financial products (primarily those involved institutionally in the municipal securities business) are content with the arrangement as it is. The added fiduciary standard would kill a market for those who would say it is more trouble than it is worth. Window-dressing. What else do you call it when those you want to regulate are already doing what you are asking them to do, and those whom we do not want to participate would be adversely affected?
(3) A $19 billion tax got added over the weekend??? Did everyone catch that? Apparently they did, because now a few Senators are pulling their votes, livid at this atrocious insertion which is guaranteed to get passed on to banking customers. Well, now the Dems will get creative in how they hide this $19 billion expense. What were they thinking – being honest about the cost of this bill???
I am not done with this yet. Sadly, neither is Congress.