Friday, December 28, 2012

Capitalistic Prophets...

From an objective point of view, Ayn Rand was clearly a unique philosopher. Author of The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged, Ms. Rand was de rigeur reading on college campuses in the 1970's. More have claimed readership of the massive tomes than can be rationally verified; some of those who were more diligent have never fully recovered.

Cato Institute currently ayn ran BB&T prior....
One of Ms. Rand's disciples is North Carolinian John Allison, the former CEO of Branch Banking & Trust (BB&T) and current leader of The Cato Institute.  Mr. Allison has recently published a book on the failure of the banking system:  The Financial Crisis and the Free Market Cure:  Why Pure Capitalism is the World Economy's Only Hope.  As the title indicates, Mr. Allison shares not only Ms. Rand's philosophy, but also her lengthy love of words.

To date, I have given this book the same detailed immersion that Ms. Rand's received, but there are certainly many nuggets of gold (which, as Mr. Allison suggests, will be invaluable when we move back to that standard) to be found in this work.

The best bullion relates to the nature of - and persistent failure of - banking regulations over the course of U.S. history. Mr. Allison points out with anger and astonishment that Citibank was bailed out 3 times by the Federal government during his 30 year career with BB&T. The end result of those bailouts has been a Citibank now larger than ever, with many forecasting "#4" as a very realistic concern.  After a third strike, most folks would suggest you step down from the plate
"BALL !!!"

..... but that is not the way of a government regulatory agency, especially an "independent" one which, in the role of "batter as umpire," gets "to call its own strikes" !

Mr. Allison ascribes much of the on-going banking failures directly to the regulators themselves...


.... "the weakest regulators are political appointees. The rest are life long bureaucrats.  (... or BOTH !!) .... and are not visionary, big picture thinkers." 



1 comment:

Anonymous said...

So let me see if I got this correct? You want an feckless regulator to reform themselves and become effective. I may still believe in Santa, but my incredulity does have its limits!