Atlas Shrugged: The Mocking

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Boot-licking For Professionals

Faced with proof that her beloved financial industry was a naughty boy and managed to elude regulations long enough to crash the economy, Megan McArdle rushes to the rescue with excuses for criminal behavior. Please note that while these reasons appear to be negative they are not. It's just the way it is. For instance:

Banks etc. are dishonest and will hide information.
Regulators can, of course, insist that regulated industries provide extensive information, under pain of terrible penalties. What they cannot do is insist that the regulated industries provide information they would like to know but aren’t aware exists.  Think of it as a giant game of hide-and-seek in which the seeker has a gun but the hider has the only accurate map of the premises.
Regulators are afraid of bankers.
For a banking regulator, unless there’s a financial crisis, the worst negative stimuli is likely to come from angry bankers, not consumers who are outraged about the decision to let Goldman Sachs hold some Santander Brasil stock for a while. This is one big reason that agencies that start out as fierce hawks intent on putting industry in their place end up as docile partners helping the incumbents shut out new competition.
Regulators must be friendly to the industry they regulate if they want to cash in later.
The only place where a longtime regulator can get a new job is in the regulated industry. Everyone laments the revolving door. No one proposes a realistic alternative. If you enact a life ban on employment in any regulated industry, you’re essentially telling regulators that staying in their job for longer than a couple of years is the next best thing to a prison sentence.
This excuse speaks for itself.
In the real world, regulators are people, too, and people are social animals. They want to be liked.
Regulators can't be honest because everyone else is dishonest.
Lobbying. It’s hard to adopt the Conan the Barbarian approach when you know that the boss of the folks you’re talking to is hosting a big fundraising dinner for your ultimate bosses in Congress and the White House.
Regulators want to make it easy on themselves.
Over time, the interests of regulators and the interests of incumbents tend to converge upon keeping things nice and tidy by making sure that experienced players dominate the field.
McArdle's excuses are similar to her attacks on teachers; they don't work because nobody really wants to work, do they? Extrapolating from personal knowledge, McArdle both excuses away her own laziness, dishonesty and greed and supports her master race from attacks by the peasant lice and scum.


Anonymous said...

Sweet Jesus, she's writing in the comments like her 5 minutes of debunked research on The Great Depression made her an expert.

Also, she's written in the past before that SEC regulators don't get paid enough to do their job.


Mr. Wonderful said...

I just left this comment on the Bloomberg site:

As always, we learn valuable lessons from McArdle's penchant for comforting the comfortable and afflicting the afflicted. In this case, we learn why umpiring in MLB and refereeing in the NFL and NBA "inevitably" gets corrupted. Umps and refs want to be liked. They're intimidated (and who wouldn't be?) by the younger, stronger athletes they pretend to judge. And, in the end, they all want jobs with the teams. No, no, I'm not saying it's a good thing. I'm just saying that it's inevitable, and accounts for why no one has any trust in the outcomes of professional sports competitions.

Mr. Wonderful said...

Ooh, I had my head handed to me. The general "Perfect, Megan!" constituency seem to think that this "proves" that regulation is inherently corrupt, and that the industry could "self-regulate" according to some general principles. That's the last time I go to THAT establishment!

Susan of Texas said...

They're geniuses! Regulation causes corruption, just like car alarms cause carjacking.

McArdle ignores the fact that the both teams will work to keep the ref honest; if he shows bias the slighted side will protest and there are mechanisms in place to arbitrate. The banks are not ratting on each other to prevent someone else from being dishonest, they are changing the rules or evading punishment.

But what can you do with a commentariat that routinely ignores facts and simply states the opposite.

Anonymous said...

Goldman would hold the stock so Santander Brazil can fool their regulators. What's wrong with that? They can make 40 mill and then some. Is helping someone cook their books so wrong?

Anonymous said...

Looks like cyberbullying rates are down.
I remember Megan whining about how the anti-bullying campaign It Gets Better should be for all kids and not just gay kids...

This from a woman who won't take sides on gay marriage because there COULD be reasons (despite a decade+ of nothing wrong happening in other countries after legalizing)

Actually I think the reason for her petty little bullying screed way back was because Dan Savage made fun of her for her review of Sex at Dawn despite not finishing it and other things.

Susan of Texas said...

I wonder if P. Suderman, boy ex-evangelist, is to blame. McArdle tends to absorb the opinions of those around her and she has become more anti-abortion as time goes by, although her infertility might have something to do with that as well.

As always, let us note that McArdle thinks women should be forced to have something shoved up their vagina if they want an abortion. Hurting others is a bonus in her philosophy, and if gays are harmed by her actions, so what.