Monday, March 29, 2010


Mike Konczal on financial regulation:
What story of financial reform is told with this bill? It isn’t a story where the financial sector isn’t too far out of control, too top-heavy and concentrated and opaque and gigantic. And it isn’t a story of regulatory failure, where regulators were asleep at the wheel, corrupted and captured through assumptions of how the world works and a revolving door of influence with the biggest firms, or where they were simply outmatched in knowing what they needed to do.

It’s a story where the regulators just needed a bit more power, a little more legal scope, and a greater extension of what jurisdiction the Federal Reserve has in order to rush in and save the day. A story where the Federal Reserve can successfully carry out prompt corrective action, detecting problems early and guiding banks back to health, on an institution with $2 trillion dollars on its sheet. A story where that institution’s off-balance sheet and the warehouse of derivatives it holds are no match for our regulator’s stare. But more importantly, it is a story where the regulators will be able to sweep in during a moment of crisis and keep the financial sector working no matter what.

Your dysfunction reading of the day: from the Wall Street Journal and Ezra Klein. Both very good.

More commentary on Iraq’s election.

Great article on the Air Force trying to instill a “warrior culture” among its drone pilots. This isn’t mentioned much, but I wonder: could you move to an air force which is made up solely of drones and bombers? I don’t really see a reason why not off the top of my head: it’d be much cheaper than the ever-more-expensive fighter jets, and of course you wouldn’t suffer pilot losses (though American planes get shot down so rarely that’s not a huge factor).

Usain Bolt is trash-talking. I am, of course, intimidated.

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