April 01, 2009

A Conservative Case for Financial Regulation
From National Disgrace Online

All great conservatives, from Burke to Trotsky to Wolfowitz, would agree that high leveraged debt-financed derivative trading is the bedrock of our democratic civilization. But even a collective good like this must be kept within its proper limits. And here?s where our wise bureaucrats come in, those good people who give Americans the sense that they need not pay too much mind to their financial institutions.

Yes, I know what you?re thinking. ?Bernie, you?d be the last person I?d expect to endorse financial regulation. After all, you?re Mr. Capitalism. You were the guy who was so out in front of the market, you?d buy and sell just before the big trades went through.? Yes, that?s me, guilty as charged.

But as a good American conservative, I appreciate the value of restraint. And I also know that there need not be any antagonism at all between regulator and hedge fund manager. Whenever I?d spend time with chief regulators like Christopher Cox or Mary Shapiro, whether it be on the golf links, in my office, or at my grandson?s circumcision, I didn?t confront Chris and Mary as enemies but as friends. People like these don?t harm my enterprise, au contraire, their stamp of approval makes it possible. Indeed, just the other day, I was discussing my company?s business model with my wife and two sons, and the three spontaneously exclaimed, ?Whoa, if it weren?t for the SEC, we?d all be in a whole lot of trouble.? Quite. 


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