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Postre: Capitalism and Democracy; Goldman Sachs and Executive Pay (Bienvenido Macario, Philippines/US) (John Eipper, USA, 10/25/09 1:46 pm)
Gene Franklin wrote on 20 October: The [financial] bailout will be a success only when there is real reform of the financial system. In my amateur opinion, this must include: 1. Split commercial banks from investment banks again. Banks should not be allowed to take risks (gamble) with guaranteed money. 2. "Too big to fail" is taken by regulators to be the same as "too big to exist." For example, no bank should again be allowed to get as large as Lehman Brothers. Those now larger than that should be broken up. 3. A real consumers protection agency to be sure banks and borrowers each understand the risks they are taking. Bienvenido Macario responds: On 23 October Ben Bernanke commented on the need for the reform of the financial system: Bernanke urges Congress to act now on overhaul Bernanke prods Congress to enact financial overhaul to prevent future crises By Jeannine Aversa, AP Economics Writer Friday October 23, 2009 http://finance.yahoo.com/news/Bernanke-urges-Congress-to-apf-3222386032.html;_ylt=Au1ZhE4kNVbMF7.SbOnH3ty7YWsA;_ylu=X3oDMTE1cjdsZmM3BHBvcwM0BHNlYwN0b3BTdG9yaWVzBHNsawNiZXJuYW5rZXVyZ2U-?x=0&sec=topStories&pos=2&asset=&ccode = WASHINGTON (AP) -- Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke prodded Congress Friday to enact legislation overhauling the nation's financial regulatory system to prevent a repeat of the banking and credit debacles that had thrust the country into crisis. "With the financial turmoil abating, now is the time for policymakers to take action to reduce the probability and severity of any future crises," Bernanke said in remarks to a Fed conference in Chatham, Mass. For its part, the Fed has been taking steps to strengthen oversight of banks, sharpen consumer protections and on Thursday unveiled a sweeping proposal to police banks' pay policies to make sure they don't encourage top executives and other employees to take reckless gambles. But Congress needs to step in and close regulatory gaps and make other changes that only lawmakers have the power to do, Bernanke said. Bienvenido Macario continues: Splitting commercial banks from investments bank could only be effected through Congress. Gene Franklin was right on the money in his recommendations on the bailout and real reform of the financial system per this statement from Ben Bernanke. I think Bernanke is saying that the time to fix the roof is when the sun is out. And it won't be sunny for long. There is a small window of opportunity to start making real reforms. Congress should act ASAP before the Thanksgiving holiday shopping season starts, if we are going to have such season this year. Perhaps reforms should be in place before January 2010. In the meantime seven corporations who availed of TARP / Bailout money from the government have been ordered by the Pay Czar to reduce executives' pay. These corporations should have sought government sponsored status (GSE) like Freddie Mac in which the government injected $51 billion of taxpayers money. Freddie Mac is 80% owned by the US government. JE comments: Having lost my well-publicized (if underfunded) campaign for Car Czar, might I have a shot at someday becoming Pay Czar? What is the Pay Czar's salary, anyway?