02/26/09 REGULATION!

February 26, 2009

I am amazed at how many people hold up the idea of market regulation or financial regulation as some kind of boogeyman to fear and rail against.   I mean, I’m simply flabbergasted!


What are regulations?  They are rules.  Laws.   We have regulations that apply to individuals who try to steal money from others.   We have laws against Ponzi schemes.   We have laws against con-artist type activities.   These are all prosecuted at the individual level.


Now, corporations have gotten away with MURDER (literally) because they’re managed to define themselves as “persons”.    However, persons have to follow laws, and if caught persons can be jailed (out of a job, for sure), or even executed.   Corporations are never adjudicated into not operating (it could be done—kinda like a college sports team which isn’t allowed to compete in their league because of violations of the rules.)  Corporations are never told: You’re a murderer, and you must die.  Disband and give away your assets.  Corporations are never held accountable for their con-artist promotions.  Corporations truly believe they are above the law.  (BTW, they willingly pay fines for breaking the law.  These fines are literally “operating costs” for running their businesses the way they want to.   Big corporations literally balance the cost of paying fines for knowingly breaking laws against profits to be gained if they do break laws.   If the profit is bigger, they’ll break the law and pay the fine.   How about CLOSING DOWN companies—or putting them into receivership anyway, when they make these illegal decisions?)


OK now.  Back to Regulations.  What are regulations?   They are LAWS.   These are the laws against con-artist mortgage proposals, these are the commitment to follow up on warnings that a big investor is running a Ponzi scheme.  These are the laws against robbery and cheating, and taking advantage of the desperate and gullible.  So what the “eff” is the problem with regulation?


The only thing I can figure is big corporations and big financial institutions have flat-out brainwashed people.  


EVERYONE has to follow the rules.   By our own laws, there is no-one (this means YOU, big corporation who defined yourself as a person) above the law.  Laws have consequences.  What about the “strike three” program against corporate offenders?  If California can stick someone in jail for life when they receive a third conviction (credit to private jail corporations for pushing THAT law!), perhaps corporations should have a 3-strike and you’re out penalty for repeatedly and deliberately breaking laws.


Financial and corporate regulations are simply applying laws that take simple crimes like stealing, cheating, deliberately misleading people in order to steal their money.   These decried “free market regulations” apply criminal laws to the big guys.   If we had them, it would be just as illegal for a company to talk you out of a fixed mortgage in favor of a balloon mortgage with escalating interest rates as it would be for a con-artist to convince your grandmother to put all her savings into his brilliantly fake “investment” scheme.   It can’t be illegal to rob people of thousands of dollars and legal to rob people of billions.  


Laws must apply to the poor AND the rich.  To the small AND the large.  So there!



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