Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
How would you blanket ban all tricks?

Easy as an atom bomb.  Legislate a few defined financial market procedures and make any innovations subject to legal review and challenge prior to implementation.  Make any unapproved procedures felonies.  Define in law the purpose of financial markets as providing investment capital to socially useful projects and set up regulatory procedures accordingly.  This would be like dropping a neutron bomb on Wall Street, but that, arguably, would be a good thing.  When you have a giant parasite on the body politic the parasite needs to be destroyed.

In an earlier diary, (you only really have to look at the first graph), NBBooks delineated rather well how existing US financial markets have become so polluted by financial manipulators as to be toxic to the purposes of legitimate investment, the very function which they use to justify their existence, and we have recently discussed the lengths to which companies go to avoid exposing themselves to the "discipline" which Wall Street imposes.  

The benefits of the decisions to allow the existing system, which were decisions not to regulate and to remove regualation, accrue entirely to the benefit of the most successful manipulators in the financial markets, Goldman Sachs far and away.  How does letting Goldman suck more and more of the wealth of the nation into the hands of its small number of employees serve any purpose that that of those employees?

This is not a math problem with a logical solution.  Capital and capitalization is the organizing principle of modern societies. The effects of the existing situation are not morally neutral.  If your political and moral compass indicates that it is appropriate for Goldman to own the US Department of Treasury, to rent the US Senate, to dominate and intimidate the rest of Wall Street and to suck the life out of the rest of the economy, then, in effect you are saying that the cleverest thief wins, that who ever can most effectively grab and most ruthlessly use power is the legitimate ruler of our society.  You are saying that you prefer a system that logically leads, at best, to a thinly disguised autarchy over a system of limited pluralistic democracy. If that is your preference, be glad because if we are not already there we are within shouting distance, but I seriously doubt this is really your desire.

The first impulse is always to see as impossible something that we really don't want to do anyway and if we want to do something we tend to see it as inevitable.  The first step towards getting out of Hell is believing that it can be done.  Monarchies, dictatorships and oligarchies all have been overthrown.  The existing system too can be ended and replaced with a better system.  I know that the existing system will be replaced.  I do not believe that it is inevitable that it will be replaced with something better.  But if we care about our future and that of our children we have to work for a better future.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Wed Jul 29th, 2009 at 09:43:53 PM EST
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