Laws, originally evolving out of the New Deal legislation written in response to the great depression, once protected the American financial system. Starting in the 1990’s, in response to intense lobbying efforts by the financial industry, those laws were stripped away. The most important one was Glass Steagall which separated commercial banking from the type of investment work of a stockbroker. Glass Steagall was signed out of existence in 1999 by President Clinton and less than 10 years later the entire financial system is bankrupt. Another law, known as The Uptick rule, prevented companies from crashing due to large scale shorting of company stock. A company’s stock could not be sold short as long as it was in continuous decline. Short sellers had to wait for an uptick in the stock before shorting. The Uptick Rule ended in 2007 just about one year ago.
When I was trying out for Radio Star 4 on Saturday, I talked about if the Government should bailout home owners. (and, of course, the answer is no). I also mentioned the take over (or socialising of) Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and how I didn’t think they should do that either. Darrell Castle, Constitution Party Vice Presidential Candidate wrote this article today, which I thought was pretty good.
Should Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac be allowed to fail? That is the question that the United States Government (USG) faces today along with the consequences of failure or the consequences of takeover which is essentially nationalization.