I've taken some time this a.m. to watch the House Financial Services Subcommittee on Capital Markets, Insurance, and Government Sponsored Enterprises hearing on AIG's impact on the global economy.
On that Subcommittee is Alabama's own Spencer Bachus. In his opening statement Spencer gave us these pearls of wisdom regarding AIG and the various debacles at which it's at the heart:
"The failure to regulate; the failure of oversight by the Congress. We're to blame."
"The government has got to get more involved [in regulating companies like AIG]..."
Where to begin?
Well, I'm glad that Mr. Bachus understands, that he finally "gets" that a "failure to regulate [Wall Street]" has lead to this. And I'm happy that he accepts, as a Member of Congress, his share of the blame for failing in his regulatory (or, better put, failing to craft and support solid, regulatory legislation) and oversight responsibilities. And I am pleasantly shocked that Mr. Bachus now says that the "goverment has to get more involved."
But, thing is, it's been Spencer Bachus and his Right Wing ilk that has for that past 2, 3 decades recited ad nauseum their sacred and talismanic mantra: "Let the market work."
Well, Spencer, the market's not only "worked", it's worked us over, no thanks to you and your lifetime aversion to solid, responsible regulation and oversight of Wall Street.
Here's what Spencer Bachus said in the summer of 2007 -- taking us Progressives to school regarding Wall Street regulation and oversight:
"Meanwhile, the House Financial Services Committee held a hearing the same day in which the President's [read: W. Bush's] Working Group on Capital Markets reported on hedge funds and their systemic risks. Committee Chairman Spencer Bachus (R-Alabama), noted in his opening speech that earlier this year 'the PWG endorsed an approach to hedge-fund regulation that relies primarily on market pressures and incentives to contain risk. The PWG concluded--correctly, in my view--that market discipline, together with statutory limitations restricting access to hedge funds to wealthy investors, can sufficiently mitigate industry risks. By emphasizing the importance of free market forces rather than the heavy hand of excessive government regulation, I believe that the PWG has struck the right balance in regulating the activities of these highly innovative investment vehicles.'"
Investment Advisor July 11, 2007
Good call, there, Spencer.
Postscript -- Spencer doesn't want to "play the blame game", by the way. I bet he doesn't. If I ever again get pulled-over for speeding, I'm thinking I should tell the officer that he should let me go on my way and not to "play the blame game". That Congressman Bachus said so.