Remember that financial meltdown we had a couple years ago? The one we're totally done with now? Just for fun, Democratic Senator Chris Dodd and Republican Senator Bob Corker have been working together, looking into whether there's something we could do to ensure it doesn't happen again.
Remember that financial meltdown we had a couple years ago? The one we're totally done with now?
Just for fun, Democratic Senator Chris Dodd and Republican Senator Bob Corker have been working together, looking into whether there's something we could do to ensure it doesn't happen again.
Now, this bipartisan effort has only had two years, so they're still settling on the seating chart, who gets flat water, who gets sparkling ...
But just as a deal was about to be struck on pre-meeting continental breakfast bread-basket selections, Dodd went renegade, announcing he would unveil his own bill.
Dodd's going Simon on this! (Sorry, Garfunkel.) Bring it, Dodd! Tell us about your bill.
"First, the legislation will end too-big-to-fail bailouts," Dodd said. "It will create an early warning system."
Wait, we hadn't done those things already?
"This legislation will bring transparency and accountability to exotic instruments like hedge funds and derivatives," Dodd said. "It creates a new program at the SEC to encourage whistleblowers."
We will ask people to stop cheating. Or perhaps face some type of small fine.
It's taken you idiots two years during the worst financial collapse since the Great Depression to compile a list of regulations we should have put into place the next day?
Well, better late than never. And at least we'll have some legislation to prevent the next financial crisis from occurring. Right?
"This legislation will not stop the next crisis from coming," Dodd admitted.
Hey, here's another regulation: You can't short-sell your own reform bill!
The most contentious point in Dodd's plan is the creation of a new consumer protection agency.
"This legislation will create a strong and independent consumer protection watchdog," he said. "If there was a watchdog on duty, it didn't bark. We need to strengthen not only its bark, but also its bite."
Yeah, and we should give it laser eyes! And a jetpack! And adamantium claws! It'll be an unstoppable dog killing-machine. We'll call him Murray.
Critics on the left are upset the protection agency won't be independent of the Fed. Critics on the right have a somewhat different take.
"I hear from the financial industry that we can't have all these cops chasing us and all these various acronyms studying us and overseeing us," observed a Fox Business News pundit.
Yeah, nobody likes cops and investigators around ... when you're stealing.
Why would we need any of this? Clearly, even the strongest reform wouldn't have prevented things like the Lehman Brothers collapse, the causes of which were detailed in a recent bankruptcy-examiners report.
"Basically, it said that Lehman did it to itself," explained CNN's Christine Romans. "Lehman imploded because of a lot of mistakes that were made."
Mistakes ... oopsies ... accounting fraud.
Lehman's big oopsie from the report? Apparently they had billions in worthless mortgage securities that nobody else wanted.
So right before the end of the quarter, when Lehman had to report their balance sheets, they would trade the crap assets for $50 billion in cash. And then post-report, as per the trade agreement, they would return the $50 billion and resume control of their s---pile. Let that sink in for a little bit.
Now if you or I pulled something like that, we'd be put in jail. What's going to happen to Lehman? Apparently, based on the report, nobody at Lehman is going to jail.
Get 'em, Murray!