Story from Investor’s Business Daily. (H/T ECM)
Washington is quietly preparing a hostile takeover of Wall Street with a new bill that would put regulators in control of managing asset prices.
While all eyes are fixed on the cobra poised to strike the health care industry, a python is wending its way through Hill banking panels that would squeeze the life from the whole economy.
By Christmas, House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank hopes to pass legislation that would create an uber-regulatory body called the Financial Services Oversight Council.
It would give the Treasury secretary power to pick which large finance firms are “systemically critical,” or too big to fail. He’d have the final call when the government steps in to save or unwind a troubled firm.
The bill would “essentially turn over control of the financial system to the government and seriously impair competition in all areas of finance,” says former Treasury official Peter J. Wallison. It would put the government permanently in the business of picking winners and losers, he adds, creating a kind of permanent TARP.
[…]The new regulatory agency can regulate banks, bank holding companies, insurance companies, hedge funds, finance companies and any other kind of company that might be designated too big to fail.
“The existence of these designated companies will impair competition in every market they are allowed to enter,” says Wallison, “and will force the consolidation of competitors so that markets become dominated by government-backed giants like themselves.”
Under the new regime, designated companies will not be able to finance their affiliates’ sales, putting them at a severe disadvantage against foreign competitors. GE Capital, for example, would not be able to finance GE sales of aircraft engines.
In effect, designated companies will fall under the control of the feds, unable to start new activities or enter new markets or perhaps even open new offices without federal approval. “This is a degree of political control of business that has never been attempted before,” Wallison says.
When government gets involved in business, business must turn around and direct money toward influencing politicians through political contributions. And that causes them to spend less money hiring workers and producing goods, unless they avoid the regulations completely by shipping their operations, and jobs, overseas. Democrats cause firms to outsource by interfering in the free market.
My previous post explained how government regulation of business caused the recession that Obama is prolonging right now.