My pal The Epicurean Dealmaker has launched a new site that aims to give us all a voice in the debate about what form the coming regulatory overhaul takes. The financial crisis infiltrated every facet of American life so we all have something at stake here.
I wrote up my own little manifesto on my hopes for reform when TED came calling and he was nice enough to christen his site with it as the opening post.
I’ll give you a piece of it below and then send you over to The New Decembrists for the rest…
From Punish The Monkey (and Let the Organ Grinder Go) by Joshua M Brown:
The boss has hung you out to dry
And it looks as though
they’ll punish the monkey
and let the organ grinder go
— Mark Knopfler, Punish the Monkey
When ex-Dire Straits frontman Mark Knopfler put the song “Punish the Monkey” on his 2007 masterpiece solo album, he probably had no idea how prescient its lyrics would soon become.
When I think about the next wave of regulation headed toward a brokerage firm or a bank near you, my main hope is that the rule-makers are focused on the “organ grinders” themselves rather than on the proverbial monkey. The monkey, who has merely been dancing to the only tune available, has the most to lose in a regulatory overhaul. It is the organ grinders who can usually find a way to keep the largest portion of the profits toward the top of the the organizational structure, even in restrictive environments.
While you cannot legislate every instance of unrestrained greed, avarice, recklessness and fecklessness out of existence on an individual basis, you can certainly make laws to prevent entire corporations and industries from the mass adoption of these non-virtues.
Read the rest: