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Sunday, March 23, 2008

Banking Regulation Illustrated

Paul Krugman
"Hiding Behind the Invisible Hand"*
Actually, there was plenty of coordination — a coordinated effort to destroy effective regulation:

Consider the press conference held on June 3, 2003 — just about the time subprime lending was starting to go wild — to announce a new initiative aimed at reducing the regulatory burden on banks. Representatives of four of the five government agencies responsible for financial supervision used tree shears to attack a stack of paper representing bank regulations. The fifth representative, James Gilleran of the Office of Thrift Supervision, wielded a chainsaw.

The lack of oversight, in short, was no oversight: it was part of the plan.

The scene

banking regulators and bankers

from the FDIC bulletin (warning *.pdf and the smugness might make your head explode).

I know the image is low quality, but it took me a while to find it. For one thing, not only did the American Banker's Association eagerly lobby for the deregulation which seriously threatens American Banking, but their magazine -- community banker -- had an article on the great event which claimed to be illustrated and was missing the digital photograph. No wonder they are going bankrupt.

* I am so used to reading "invisible hand" as "the Market" that I didn't get the Zenlike character of the title. What is the smell of one invisible hand clapping ?

** He's quoting himself. The NYT style guide is a mystery to the unenlightened.


Anonymous said...

Here's a much better copy of the picture.

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