Something Feral

Digging up the flower-beds.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Meet the new year, same as the old year

What do reporter David Reilly and the Great White Shark have in common? The ability to devour and digest insane amounts of garbage without ill effect, of course:
Hunkering down by the fire, I snuggled up with H.R. 4173, the financial-reform legislation passed earlier this month by the House of Representatives. The Senate has yet to pass its own reform plan. The baby of Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank, the House bill is meant to address everything from too-big-to-fail banks to asleep-at-the-switch credit-ratings companies to the protection of consumers from greedy lenders.

I quickly discovered why members of Congress rarely read legislation like this. At 1,279 pages, the “Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act” is a real slog. And yes, I plowed through all those pages. (Memo to Chairman Frank: “ystem” at line 14, page 258 is missing the first “s”.)

The reading was especially painful since this reform sausage is stuffed with more gristle than meat. At least, that is, if you are a taxpayer hoping the bailout train is coming to a halt.

If you’re a banker, the bill is tastier. While banks opposed the legislation, they should cheer for its passage by the full Congress in the New Year: There are huge giveaways insuring the government will again rescue banks and Wall Street if the need arises.
The chief outrage is addressed in the title of the piece: "Bankers Get $4 Trillion Gift From Barney Frank". Yep, with a 'T'. Reilly goes on to point out that while the funds are not automatically dispensed, the caveats and restrictions are so (purposely) vague that the whole of it amounts to merely haggling over the price, as the old joke goes.

Working under the assumption that compounding the errors that caused the last crash does not actually provide a viable solution, and that said solution is not the forestallment of a necessary correction, and that HR 4173 receives corresponding support in the Senate (support from the White House is given, at this point), when will the next tsunami of corrections hit?

Is this all as predictable as it seems to be?


MikeT said...

What still amazes me is the fact that Frank even still gets elected. This sort of corruption is only typical of Chicago and Louisiana politics...

Something Feral said...

Frank only needs to fool a small majority of the people in his state all the time. Or, a minority, plus some of the people that tabulate the votes.

We get the government we deserve.