How to Make the Financial System Radically Safer
How to Make the Financial System Radically Safer Author MN Gordon – Acting-Man>>>
Preventing the Last Crisis
Clear thinking and discerning rigor when it comes to the twisted state of present economic policy matters brings with it many physical ailments. A permanent state of disbelief, for instance, manifests in dry eyes and droopy shoulders. So, too, a curious skepticism produces etched forehead lines and nighttime bruxism.
The terrible scourge of bruxism and its potentially terrifying consequences. Curious skepticism can lead to the darnedest things, which is why Big Brother strongly recommends that citizens remain in a medication and cable TV-induced apathetic stupor. To make this happy outcome easier to achieve, stagnation in real wages was successfully introduced a number of moons ago; forced to work to exhaustion just to keep their heads above water, citizens tend to be more docile in their shrinking free time. [PT]
Nonetheless, these are small prices to pay for the simple delight that comes when a central planner opens their mouth and inserts their foot. Last Friday, for example, Fed Chair Janet Yellen gave a speech to her friends and cohorts at the annual central banker’s powwow in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. There she patted herself and the financial regulatory community on the back for what she believes has been a successful execution of financial regulations:
“The events of the  crisis demanded action, needed reforms were implemented, and these reforms have made the system safer.”
How Yellen knows the reforms have made the system safer is unclear. Like France’s impenetrable Maginot Line, the regulations Yellen lauds are backward looking. They are suited to preventing the last crisis while ignoring new and greater threats amassing just beyond the horizon.
If mouse traps were designed like our nifty new financial regulations, this is what they would look like. Don’t you feel safer already? [PT]
No doubt, the greatest of these mounting threats are of the Fed’s own making. After adding $4 trillion to the Fed’s balance sheet and dropping the federal funds rate to near zero for many years they’re now in the early stages of their great endeavor to ‘normalize’ monetary policy.
But, alas, it’s no longer a normal world. Years of abnormal monetary policy has fabricated an abnormal world. Surely something will break before things are bent back into place, assuming they ever get there.
The reforms Yellen was referring to include the Dodd-Frank Act. The Frank part of the regulation, if you recall, is former Congressman, and overall repulsive being, Barney Frank. Despite being out of office for over four years, Frank’s grubby finger prints continue to besmirch the economy.
The Dodd-Frank Act, which was rolled out in response to the 2008 financial crisis, has turned out to be a classic case of knee-jerk regulatory overkill. President Trump has promised relief to certain aspects of the Dodd-Frank Act’s suffocating regulatory regime, including stress test and capital requirements. These requirements force banks to keep more capital on their books as opposed to investing it in interest-earning assets.