The Phaserl


The Futility of Bank Regulation

by James E. Miller, Mises:

It’s been over four years since the financial crisis ripped through the American banking system like a viral disease and put the world economy in a coma. From that fateful Autumn when Washington took off the blinds and showed its allegiance to the banking system by shoving almost $1 trillion in the pockets of Wall Streeters, public outcry has diminished to a low mute. Various political uprisings spawned in the wake in the blatantly fascist effort deceptively labeled the Troubled Asset Relief Program, each falling back into complicity of the prevailing order. Times change; and so do people’s priorities.

Today the big banks are larger than ever with assets to the tune of $8.5 trillion. Public interest for reining in the excess has largely faded away while the political will to crack the whip lingers. Back in 2010, the regulatory bill named after the toad-resembling Congressman Barney Frank and Senator turned Hollywood whore Chris Dodd passed Congress to much fanfare and little results. Certainly no financial meltdowns have struck, but catastrophic events in complex systems like economies are not a common occurrence. Still, there is an unease in many, ignorant in basic economics as they are, over another contagion event that could tear a hole in the collective balance sheet of the banking system.

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