Today the Bush administration offered its brave response to the current financial crisis, as delivered by Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson. The administration has faced overwhelming pressure to give the government more oversight and regulation within the financial markets, since every major player (investment banks, hedge funds) keeps dying and then asks the government for money. And who better to ramp up regulation on investment banks than Henry Paulson, the former C.E.O. of Goldman Sachs! So what's in his funny new oversight package, and how will it not do anything save the economy again?

What the financial system needs is actual regulations within investment banks and hedge funds and other Wall Street "things" that previously had been left alone. But now that they threaten the economy when they do poorly, and the government has to bail them out, someone needs to put the clamp on their balls (of money!).

Hooray for Henry Paulson's reform thing, which at the very least does "change" various persons, places or things (but not ideas!):

  • Merge the Securities and Exchange Commission with the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, which regulates exchange-traded futures for oil, grains, currencies etc etc. Because if they become a team, then... suck it, Bear Stearns!
  • The Federal Reserve receives more oversight over Wall Street firms: "The Fed would be able to examine internal bookkeeping of brokerage firms, hedge funds, commodity-trading exchanges and any other institution that might pose a risk to the overall financial system." Then once it's done examining this bookkeeping, it can return to Washington, and proceed to fuck itself. But pretty exciting for the Fed as a learning experience, no?
  • More consolidation of government financial agencies, meaning more participants in D.C.'s Thursday Circle Jerk at the ol' Commodities Building.

And that is how Henry Paulson will save the economy again, with Ben Bernanke. Americans are urged to liquidate their assets and bury the cash in an abandoned hobbit hole (the hobbits have been exterminated).

Treasury Rolls Out Overhaul of Financial Regulators [NYT]


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