Sunday, February 28, 2010

And as for financial regulation...

I'm sure that your mailbox, like mine, has been full of notices from credit card companies advising you of changes to your accounts, presumably due to the new regulations recently implemented. I've actually read every one of them. I'm not impressed, but that may because I never carry a balance on any of my cards. I'm one of the people the credit card companies call a "free rider," because I don't pay interest or fees.

Well, excuse me, but they're still collecting a nice cut from the merchants I patronize — even after they pay me my paltry cash-back rewards. Free riders (as in my previous post) cost the system money. Granted, the banks don't make as much from me as they do from some poor bastard who lost his job and is using credit cards to keep his family eating, but they're still making money — with virtually no risk involved.

So screw you, David Nelms, Brian Moynihan, Ken Chenault, and anybody else who's issued me a card. You're the free riders, riding on the backs of the naive and the unfortunate. It's clear why you so bitterly oppose an independent consumer protection agency — it might interfere with the extremely lucrative rackets you and your buddies have been working on the public for so many years.

As for real financial reform, I'm betting nothing much happens, if anything. Anybody who was paying attention knows it was the unregulated derivatives market — most notably credit default swaps — that caused the crisis of 2008. The joke is that the alleged "free marketeers" in Congress and in the banking industry are bitterly opposed to the transparency in the sale of such instruments that actually would allow a free market to operate.

An alleged "democracy" that can't serve its citizens is no democracy. Government is broken, and the plutocrats are more firmly in charge than ever.

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