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October 03, 2008

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In response to Burt G's comment, I worked for 26 years for corporations, mostly as a senior manager. We definitely tried to obey the laws, but that was the boundary - we worked to maximize the benefit to the company. (There were many charitable things that we did, but they had to be tied loosely to marketing or employee satisfaction.) There is no reason to expect companies, financiers, or individuals to be the custodians of the company good.
On the specifics, I see at least three errors. 1. Separating investment banks from commercial banks (1999); 2. pushing Fannie/Freddie to loosen standards to enable low income foilks to buy houses (the 90s and beyond.) ; 3. the item in the NYT about making oversight of investment banks voluntary. BTW one might also look at hedge funds.

Bill Bowen

The initial Bill's post this wek sounds like a call for the sanity of getting out of the way of a free market economy. If a free market economy had as much ethics as free market, and not so much dodging to obtain better gain with enormous risk, I'd be for it.
Reality check: Whenever the free market has been totally unleashed with oversight and controls removed the base quality of human nature wins out and the desire for potential profit at the risk of the entire system comes into play. (Note the Fri. 3 NYTimes article concerning the SEC and 204 decision and its "implementation).
Teddy Roosevelt had it right with his call for controls on the free market. It just cannot be allowed is to go off on its own.
The world and mentality of what's each quarter report going to do to my future juvenile and not at all in the best interest of future growth. So a POX on unfettered free markets.

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