Property Grunt

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Who Watches the Watchmen?

Is this the new Patriot Act?

As all of you know, I am not a big fan of AIG. I thought it was reprehensible not only for receiving those bonuses paid by tax payers but also in the odor of entitlement they exuded in defending the bonuses. Which brings me to this article.

Geithner to Call for New Powers to Avoid AIG Repeat

[b]“We must ensure that our country never faces this situation again,” Geithner is expected to say according to excerpts of his testimony obtained by Bloomberg News. “To achieve that goal the administration and Congress have to work together to enact comprehensive regulatory reform and eliminate gaps in supervision.”

The expanded powers, which require Congressional approval, could help monitor risk and detect problems across an array of financial-services firms to prevent shocks to the global economy such as the one caused by the collapse of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. in September. [/b]

If the financial industry is acting in any that could further harm the economy, then I am for any type of enforcement. However, I am aware too much government is not always a good thing. Sometimes the government needs to step back and let things take its course. However, efforts must be made to watch and take action if the free market gets out of hand.

What Geithner is asking for is a financial Patriot Act. With these powers the Treasury Department will be a dominating force in financial world. It could be great in keeping everyone in line but there needs to fail safes installed to keep things in balance.

The SEC failed to catch Madoff not because the lack of power but because it had a very cozy relationship with Madoff. If Congress decides to grant these powers to the Treasury there not only has to be a ton of oversight, but I would argue that there also needs to be an independent party that gives a full body cavity search to ensure these powers are not falling into the wrong hands and to scare off anyone who has other intentions in mind.

Which leads me to this quote from
The Dark Knight

The people should not let themselves be so easily emotionally hijacked. We need to step back and ponder what all this means because right now the heroes are out manned and out gunned.