This will have to do - The Hearings. I have a lot of mixed feelings about what is going on. I do think that the largest financial institutions contributed greatly to the financial crisis and should be held accountable. The ‘masters of the universe’ are not often but in the hot seat, and I hope that the experience will lead to greater humility both personally and organizationally. As for the levy what strikes me as unfair is that this is a tax on the banking system and not the shadow banking system, which also played a big role in the crisis. Further what about Fannie and Freddie? Why isn’t anyone talking about them right now??? Why no appearances before a commission? Oh, perhaps because Barney Frank cannot appear before himself. The losses there will be in the hundreds of billions and where is that inquiry? The public deserves to know the details of how ‘making home ownership affordable for Americans’ contributed greatly to this crisis as well. I think the President’s attacks, the language he chooses, is just not right. (see article below) Many have written that he has been all talk and no action as it relates to reigning in Wall Street. I personally would like to see respectful talk and appropriate action. It is clear that bonuses will shrink as a result of the outrage, but there are consequences. You can bet the NYC and NY State budgets are taking a direct blow, not to mention real estate, retail… well I could go on. Generally speaking those who make a lot of money spend a lot of money and redistributing those dollars to federal government coffers while nice in theory, has economic consequences. I still love my 'virtue fund' idea but i guess that piece did not get to GS or Washington. Darn. And what about those folks making out like bandits in the shadow banking system? Many took advantage of cheap government funding in one form or another to buy assets and have made huge returns. Sure they will pay taxes, increasing taxes, but no one is telling them what to pay their employees. I am not saying they should, I am just saying it is not exactly fair. That seems to be the theme of my entries this week… Life is not fair.
FT - Why Obama Must Take on Wall Street 1/14
FT - Levy to hit investment banks the hardest 1/14
FT - Obama attacks 'obscene' bonuses 01/15
FT - Obama is right to clobber Wall Street 01/16
FT - What we can learn from Japan's decades of Troubles - Martin Wolf
PIMCO - Bill Gross's latest commentary - Let's Get Fisical