November 16, 2011 19 Comments
Well, I could have told you that.
But really, I don’t know what he’s complaining about. In Smart regulation, complication is a feature not a bug. The complication of the Volcker Rule means that anyone falling under its umbrella will need an army of lawyers, “consultants”, CFAs, and IT/database gurus to even begin to cobble together some sort of conclusion as to whether they’re compliant with the Volcker Rule or in massive violation of it. Meanwhile, on the government side, to check (rather, pretend to check) compliance with the Volcker Rule and fine unpopular/non-regime-friendly market actors random gigantic amounts from time to time, the government will have to assign a parallel army of government schmoes to try to sort through all the reports and data collection, to make asinine requests for irrelevant information, to make site visits to ensure everyone clicks their heels and falls into line and serves them muffins, and so on.
This is win-win. Tons of sinecure jobs pushing papers and collating numbers for the otherwise-useless overdegreed (such as myself) and for Smart People bureaucrats. All at the American mortgage-borrower & taxpayer expense.
This is what happens when it becomes conventional wisdom among Smart People that something that can’t be defined (‘prop trading’) should be banned. And make no mistake. The people you see posting on their Facebook walls that ‘it’s great, it’s about time they banned prop trading, I just hope the banks don’t water it down’ are talking out of their butts. There is no coherent definition of ‘prop trading’. There is no sharp line you can ever draw between ‘prop trading’ and other (the good kind of?) trading. So, any effort to ban ‘prop trading’ via some sort of enforceable, clear regulation would have turned out like the spiderweb mess we are apparently getting.
Of course, Volcker is claiming he wanted a much simpler, vaguer rule. This is what you’d expect him to say as a Smart Person, in accordance with the basic principle of Yglesiocracy:
Just make the law completely vague, like: ‘No doing bad stuff!’. Let us handle the rest; we’ll go ahead and run with it from there.
This is because Smart People have no use for the concept of the Rule of Law. Smart People favor the rule of Smart People.
One final interesting note here is the extent to which our government now is at the beck and call of certain anointed gurus. The article concludes with this statement:
“It reinforces the point – I don’t want the banks doing the kinds of things they were doing,” he said.
I find this rather interesting. It’s nice and all that Paul Volcker ‘doesn’t want’ ‘the banks’ doing this and that. And he’s entitled to his opinion and all. But may I ask a question? Who cares with Paul Volcker thinks about anything, what he ‘wants’ and ‘doesn’t want’? Paul Volcker is not a member of the U.S. government. He is not even part of the Federal Reserve anymore. He sat on some non-governmental committee for Obama a while ago, which I guess is how he got into this conversation. But literally, Paul Volcker is a private citizen. Yet this article is treating his opinion about which regulations should and shouldn’t be in place as divine revelation.
And it may as well be. Because the fact is, the people we do elect to make our regulations, don’t know jack squat about the things they are regulating. This is how we end up with ‘Volcker Rules’ and then retardedly turning to Volcker (his name is on the ‘rule’ after all! he must know!) to explain to us the rule he ‘wanted’. Truly, we are living in a Yglesiocracy.