August 3, 2012 7 Comments
- What’s the purpose of bank capital regulation? Not sure but I think my answer ultimately boils down to: to keep afloat bankrupt socialist governments. Secondary answer: white-collar jobs program (like all regulation).
- “What are all the HR ladies going to do with all the spare time now that they can’t live vicariously through other strangers’ lives?” Glad I’m not the only one with a knee-jerk disdain for ‘HR ladies’. In my ideal world, there would be no such thing as an ‘HR’ department.
- By the way, the preceding link is about laws against potential employers asking for your Facebook passwords and so on. This is one of those topical issues that, like sexually-active women who work for Catholic employers having to forgo life necessities to pay for birth control, (1) has gotten a certain class of people up in arms and (2) I’m not certain has ever really occurred, so do let me know if there’s evidence to the contrary.
- Interesting theory meant to salvage Shyamalan’s Signs, which I never thought needed salvaging to begin with, since it’s freakin AWESOME. But it did mark my first, and not last, ‘hearing people openly laugh at, not with, a Shyamalan movie in the theater’ experience, so perhaps this will help.
- There Is No Money In Monetary Policy Anymore is an article I’m realizing I starred so as to read later. Still haven’t, anyone wanna Cliffs-notes summarize it for me?
- ICE is calling its swaps ‘futures’ to get around regulation. This sort of thing always tickles the abstract mathematician in me; technically isn’t everything just a special case of a ‘swap’?
If you’re a Chris Bertram, or perhaps an Arnold Kling who believes in ‘principles-based regulation’, you think this is a terrible and perverse outcome, since they are violating the ‘spirit’ of the regulation. You want regulators to have lots and lots of ‘discretion’ and ‘latitude’ to enforce the ‘spirit’ of regulations against this sort of thing. That is a very popular reaction to this sort of regulation-gaming nowadays. Less common, regrettably, are people willing to cite the fact that a regulation can be easily gamed/arbed as prima facie evidence that the regulation is probably stupid and that you need to rethink your approach to what you are regulating entirely, most likely in the direction of less micro-management of details. Wake me when a majority comes around to this (my), correct, way of thinking.
- James Kwak on the news that the JP Morgan mismark was directed by the trader’s boss:
The question is why bank managers don’t do a better job putting in place systems and processes to detect them [rogue traders, bad marks, etc]. The most plausible answer is that they don’t want to because, in the short term, they have the exact same incentives as those traders: they like the risk and the higher expected returns it generates. It’s only when things blow up that they act all shocked.
No real argument (for a change!). I would only add one other possibility: they don’t do a better job of it because they literally, physically can’t, since these banks (and their risks/balance sheets) are too frickin’ big. Yeesh, am I really siding with the left in the ‘Too Big To Manage/Break Up The Big Banks’ faction? How depressing, what’s next, should I just go join #Occupy?