Thursday, April 12, 2012

Too big to exist

From Mat Taibbi (Rolling Stone):
In sum, Bank of America torched dozens of institutional investors with billions in worthless loans, repeatedly refused to abide by contractual obligations to buy them back, evaded hundreds of millions in local fees and taxes, pushed tens of thousands of people into foreclosure using phony documents, ignored multiple court orders to stop its illegal robo-signing, and exploited President Obama's signature mortgage-relief program. The bank fixed the bids on bonds for schools and cities and utilities all over America, and even conspired to try to game the game itself – by fixing global interest rates!
I know the article is whoa long, but it's worth reading in its entirety.

Here's what I took away: This is exactly what the free market, laissez-faire, libertarian douche tarts want. They want unregulated banking and trading under some insane delusion that shit like this won't happen.

The argument for libertarianism that I hear most often is that people (and by extension, business) are rational actors. Sounds simple, yes? Here's the thing, a for-profit corporation has one goal and one goal only: to make as much profit as possible (duh). There is no "rational acting" beyond that. They don't care about losing money because of home foreclosures-- those loans have been packaged up and sold to investors long ago. When banks are allowed to grow unchecked (like BoA), they have so much power, so much money that they can screw over their investors, break laws, and cause economic collapse and no one can stop them.

"Too big to fail" is, quite simply, too big to exist. Instead of continually bailing out BoA, we should be dismantling the whole goddamned operation.Get rid of it. Get rid of anything even remotely like it. We need to start from zero instead of propping up what is quite possibly the largest criminal enterprise that we have ever seen.

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