by Blogger Ellen_Scordato on ‎01-29-2010 03:27 PM

Within the past hour, I saw a young man reading a very old pb of LIAR'S POKER. And I thought the very same thing.


Yes, I would absolutely agree that "cycles of boom and bust like this are inherent in any unregulated market." Precisely why we need regulation. I find it very instructive to shove LIAR'S POKER at those freer-than-free market Republicans who claim the most recent bust was the result of the Clinton admin's regulatory changes--all the Dems fault! Granted, those particular changes contributed to the particular shape of this bust, but was Clinton president in 1987?


The problem I see is that the will of the people--including investors, no less!--is no longer expressible in any legislative form due to lobbying and ever-more-closely interlocking boards and financial interests that govern and run the financial markets.


Even libertarians will concede that one of the functions of government, in a free trade market, is to prevent blatant fraud. No market can survive continued basic fraud -- even in early capitalist societies, someone made sure the silver was silver and the gold was gold. There's no one making sure that the CMOs and other side bet securities are worth anything but what their sellers say they are worth, except people who make money by valuing them at what they are not worth. And "caveat emptor/buyer beware" is just not working out as an adequate foundation for the world securities market.


Harrumph. Great post, btw! If I could ever figure out how to give more than one laurel, I would :smileyhappy:

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