Sunday, March 22, 2009

Rachel Maddow: Deregulation for "Dummies"

Rachel Maddow reminds all of us just what got us to where we are in the first place with this financial crisis. Deregulation. (video here).
For anyone who would care enough to know (and be completely disgusted with) just how big of a mess we're actually in, go read Matt Taibbi's latest article for Rolling Stone: "The Big Takeover: The global economic crisis isn't about money - it's about power. How Wall Street insiders are using the bailout to stage a revolution".
Maddow: There would be no outrage about AIG's bonuses if AIG hadn't needed bailing out, right? I mean sure people get mad at fat cats with high salaries when everyone else is broke. But it's the fact that this company was using our money, taxpayers money to pay those bonuses that caused the entire country to grind our teeth down their nub ends to rage at these guys.
So there would be no outrage about AIG turning taxpayer bailout dollars into executive bonuses if there hadn't been a bailout. AIG wouldn't have needed bailing out if it weren't too big to fail, too integral to all these other parts of the financial industries. AIG wouldn't have become too big to fail if they hadn't become a big hybrid complicated uber-financial everything company that made all sorts of arcane financially engineered moves that got them squirreled into every kind of financial related business that you can think of.
AIG wouldn't have become a big hybrid complicated uber-financial everything company if there hadn't been, and this is key, deregulation of Wall Street that allowed firms to get like that. And massive deregulation of Wall Street wouldn't have happened without the rise of a political movement that preached that regulation was inherntly evil and deregulation was inherently wise and virtuous and would make everyone rich and it would be free well behaved puppies for every family.
Do you want an example of how this deregulation thing worked? You can totally use this at the high school dance or a bar or whatever to try to impress someone. Somebody starts complaining about the bailout. Complaining about AIG. You tell them actually the real villain here is Gramm-Leach-Bliley. Just say it with total confidence. Watch. You will get dates.
Here's how to explain it.

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