Bing Blog

Regulate Moi?


The House of Representatives, that hotbed of liberalism, is now working on legislation that would make sure the depredations of the 00's would never happen again. I consider this a very good thing, as long as none of the regulations apply to me personally.

For instance, I'm all for the idea of a consumer protection agency mandated to oversee credit cards and mortgages. It's clear that excesses in those arenas led to the virtual collapse of our economy, and that changes in the area are not only necessary, but wouldn't have a negative impact on me at all. I might even benefit from it in some remote way. So that sounds pretty good.

I also applaud the effort to use TARP money to help protect the unemployed from foreclosures. There is no reason why those big dollops of cash should be used exclusively to help financial institutions and their managers. Everyday Americans in trouble should have access to them too. Also, a solid real estate market can only benefit people who own their own homes, like me. Once again, way to go, House.

I'm a little more dubious about the idea of rewarding whistle blowers who rat on their own executives, even if the latter are engaging in securities fraud. As a concept, it sounds good. But too many whistle blowers are loose cannons. I'm a corporate executive. I hate loose cannons. I only like cannons that are securely tied down. So I'm not against supporting whistle blowers, really. It just makes me a little nervous.

As for the notion of giving shareholders an advisory vote on executive pay... no, I don't think I like that one at all. Who does the House think it is? What is this? Russia? Thank God we have the Senate around to protect my interests, or else I'd be really worried.

19 Comments Add Comment

"What is this? Russia?" You should be so lucky,

I'm willing to bet a stale donut and a cuppa coffee that the Whitehouse would trade the Kremlin budget balance sheets in an instant.

Russia is on the bottom on the way up,,,guess who is on top on the way down...

Jack, I'd have to say that Russia is on the bottom and still going more or less nowhere. It's got a long history of having a few people at the top of the food chain with everything, and everyone else with next to nothing.

If there is such a thing as feudalistic capitalism, it will show up in Russia, if it hasn't already.

As for Bing's piece ...I'm not really old enough to have seen this movie before, but I think I read about it once. We had a whole bunch of legislation due to the last depression, and we had this depression because we didn't bother to enforce said legislation we put in after the last depression. Here we go again.

Jack Hammond CANADA wrote "...Russia is on the bottom on the way up,,,guess who is on top on the way down…", you, being from Canada, did not disappointed me with your comment. Like it or not, the US is on top and will stay on top because that is where it belongs, the rest of the countries of the world are unfit to handle all the complexities the way the US does it, whether you like it or not. The fact is that no other country in the world wants to be the world leader, they are scared, including Canada.

Jack Hammond boy: Have you been in Russia lately? I bet your international experience is limited to the USA, you have no idea on what is really going on in Russia right now, you have never been there I bet. No one in their right mind wants to trade a thing with the Kremlin, no one.

And I bet a stale donut and a cuppa coffe that Jack Hammond has never been outta Canada and does not know what is he talking aboutta!!!

Geez. And I thought corporate execs worked for shareholders.

You know, regulation is a lot like going to heaven. Everyone likes the concept but few care for the prerequisite.

Paul, I don't really believe somebody who owns a couple of shares of a company is anybody's boss. I think all people in a company work for its customers, the public, the common well-being of the enterprise and its employees and, yes, the shareholders who care enough about the corporation to hold on to its securities for a little while. I don't think anybody should work for the security analysts and hedge funds, which is what "shareholder value" translates into far too often.

Coming from someone in Canada, that comment is insufferably rich. You'd better hope America stays strong, because the only reason Canada doesn't have to spend much on security (internal and external) is because you're sleeping next to the Big Dog. If we become one big Juarez your mounties will have to become real cops.

Leeroy, you're observations are quite accurate (and I'm quite old enough remember several regulatory cycles)....and you are also correct that none of it means anything without enforcement.....a fact that scholars positing the inevitable failure of reform frequently miss.

Since people are always dissatisfied with their current situations (even in good times), and doubly upset during times of economic calamity, we are doomed to repeat these same sad dramas over and over....we discount the old regulatory remedies, which were never even actually implemented.....and listen to radio talkshow dingbats for economic salvation.

bing, i disagree with you. shareholders should have a say on executive pay. i am the shareholder/executive (provided $$ for the show) and the manager is my employee. even you bemoaned the potential loss of control in your executive position.

Bing, you've got nothing to worry about re additional regulation. History has shown that governments don't really have any interest in regulating media companies.

With all due respect, Chicago, nothing could be further from the truth. The FCC is very aggressive and broadcast television in particular is subject to all sorts of regulatory oversight.


Granting your elegantly articulate framework, I see no divergence of opinion.

Happy Holidays!

Ah, laissez faire with a rubber glove...

My sarcasm missed the mark. It doesn't come through in writing, and it's a bad habit anyway.

The most interesting regulatory possibility I've heard thrown around lately is taking spectrum from the broadcast networks so that it can be "put to better use". Meaning sell it at a higher price (to generate a gain split by those losing the spectrum and Uncle Sam) to wireless telecom providers to facilitate faster downloads via all those iPhones.

Of course that will never happen.

Mike and Joe and Isaac and Tom; I think you guys have been watching too many Southpark re-runs and are taking the "Blame Canada" meme a little too far. Or are you caught in a "U-S-A! U-S-A" jingoistic feedback loop?

Like I tell some of my staff when they spend too much time telling me how great a job they're doing; it's up to them to tell me what they're doing - I'll judge how "great" it is. ;-)

All that being said, I don't know that I can agree with my compatriot Jack's assertion regarding the Kremlin / Washington budgets. And ignoring the budgets, I'd rather be living in or next to a descending America than an ascending Russia. Hey! That's exactly where I am! :-)

Winnipeg FB,

What I'd like to know is can you see Sarah Palin out your back window?

fascistfb, I didn't know the big dog seeks the approval of the flea on its rump....

Mike; while the big dog may not seek the flea's approval, the big dog sure seems awfully sensitive to the flea's opinions ;-)

Paul; I cannot see Sarah Palin out my back window - no moose nearby


How bout a Moosehead or four?