Thursday, October 22, 2009

No Way Out: Government Response to the Financial Crisis"

Christopher Whalen comments at the Oct 9th conference

The evolution of the US from a democratic republic into a more statist, more corporate formulation that looks more and more like the states of Europe and Asia every day, is what makes concepts such as too big to fail ("TBTF") and "systemic risk" viable. The migration of the US from a society based on individual liberty, work and responsibility, to a society where a largely corporate and socialist perspective holds sway, in my view, is changing the way we look at our financial and monetary system.

Our friends at the Fed and Treasury seem to know nothing about American values when it comes to insolvency or bank safety and soundness. Our founders embedded bankruptcy in the Constitution not out of generosity, but because they knew that prompt resolution and liquidation of claims benefitted all of society. The internationalist set, like their counterparts in Europe and Japan, talk of the ill-effects of resolving zombie banks via traditional bankruptcy, but fail to notice the benefits with equal concern. If we do not have losers and well as winners in our society, then we shall have neither.

The internationalist tendency prefers instead to align themselves with the view of foreign nations whose governments are predominantly socialist in economic orientation and authoritarian politically.

The difference that separates the United States from the rest of the world is the difference which has always divided us, namely our at least theoretical devotion to individual liberty and free markets. Until we break the Alliance of Convenience between the Congress, the Fed and the large, TBTF banks and force our public officials to embrace core American values regarding transparency, insolvency and accountability, we will not in my view find a way out of the crisis.

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