Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Peter J. Wallison: The Fed Can’t Monitor ‘Systemic Risk’

The stuff that five years ago was only coming from conspiracy theorists is now fit to print in Wall Street Journal:
Peter J. Wallison: The Fed Can’t Monitor ‘Systemic Risk’
"Using the financial crisis as a pretext, the Obama administration is determined to enact massive financial regulatory reforms this year. But the centerpiece of its proposal—putting the Fed in charge of regulating or monitoring systemic risk—is a serious error.

The problem is the Fed itself can create systemic risk. Many scholars, for example, have argued that by keeping interest rates too low for too long the Fed created the housing bubble that gave us the current mortgage meltdown, financial crisis and recession."
Not to mention stuff that sounds like the Gemstone file (Google it yourself):
"It is one thing to set a thief to catch a thief—as President Franklin Delano Roosevelt is said to have done when he put Joe Kennedy in charge of the newly created Securities and Exchange Commission in the 1930s. But to set a thief to catch himself is quite a different matter."
P.S. - I double-checked Wikipedia - the public knowledge website does not side with the illicit substance trade allegations in the Gemstone file, but it does include an account of Joseph Kennedy's stock market ventures which isn't actually much better.
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