A clear example of the mainstream media’s hatred for capitalism, free markets, bankers and lenders in general is found in the Jan 13th Detroit Free Press’s editorial titled “It’s Bankers’ turn for the 3rd degree.”
It starts out letting us know that the inquisition commission is ‘bipartisan.’
“The bipartisan Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission Congress appointed last spring opens public hearings today with a charge to explore what its chairman, Phil Angelides, describes with considerable understatement as the central irony of the 2008 Wall Street meltdown.”
And what he’s going to explore is how to make the bankers explain not their innocence but why did they do it. The Freep even suggests the attitude and framework the commission should adopt.
“The commission’s mandate has been likened to the similarly ambitious inquiry into the 9/11 attacks. This time, though, investigators have been able to subpoena many of the principals whose actions and decisions precipitated the crisis. Among those scheduled to testify this week are the CEOs of Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America and Morgan Stanley. None of these bank executives, presumably, set out to destroy the international financial system. Even so, the opportunity to question them is the investigative equivalent of being able to interrogate the perished hijackers of 9/11.”
Notice the snarky word ‘presumably’ used in regard to a possible desire not to destroy the economy.
The financial center is the heart of any economy. It finances all the transactions that take place in a free economy making a growing prosperity possible. When government interferes it creates economic dislocations and hardship. These are then held up as failures of a free unregulated market and the haters of capitalism then call for more controls as the Freep has done and is now doing again. But to place 911 terrorists in the same context as bankers and lenders is an insult to all Americans especially the bankers.
There is also no mention in this editorial of the government’s role in the meltdown. It’s as if there was no role at all. The editorial decries the bonuses of bankers but there is no mention of the bonuses paid to the CEOs of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac–government enforced creations.
The editorial then lets us know which way the government should go.
“It would be unforgivable if the inadequate legal and regulatory system that allowed credit markets to spin out of control more than a year ago were left in place until a bigger and even more catastrophic crisis unfolds. So the grillings on tap for today and tomorrow should be only the opening salvos in a determined effort to hold banks and other lenders accountable.”
In other words we are being told that bankers and financial people will run around willy nilly in an orgy of irrationality if not controlled by all knowing bureaucrats. My own Senator Carl Levin, D-MI once said that the crisis was caused by Wall Street “running wild.” The demon we are told to fear again is economic freedom and the god to worship is government force.
I can only hope that some of these bankers will defend themselves and their right to use their own judgement. Perhaps they will be able to show how the government regulations encouraged risky behavior. But I doubt they will get a chance to defend themselves at all. They will undoubtedly be questioned only on why they knowingly lent money to people who could not pay it back and will be charged with the trumped up crime of ‘predatory lending.’
(If the hearings are not on TV they can be viewed on c-span.org.)