Good Medicine for Bad Bankers

That’s the title of an Alan Blinder op-ed in The Wall Street Journal. It’s subtitled One way to keep bankers from behaving badly is to hit them in their pocketbooks with penalties that affect bonuses.

Blinder cited remarks by New York Federal Reserve Bank President William Dudley:

Mr Dudley highlighted the “ongoing occurrences of serious professional misbehavior, ethical lapses and compliance failures” at giant financial institutions. And he warned the audience, which included a number of the world’s leading bankers, that unless the epidemic of bad behavior stops, “the inevitable conclusion will be reached that your firms are too big and complex to manage,” in which case “your firms need to be dramatically downsized and simplified.”

You bet. However, Blinder wants more government interference, even after government’s proven failure to manage economies of any sort. He wants a points system for bank(er)s’ misbehavior, with a sufficient accumulation of points leading to an offending bank’s loss of its banking license. And he wants government to dictate where in a bank its losses should be allocated. Because businessmen and their accountants can’t be trusted with this judgment. But government can be.

No, the best way to achieve “hitting them in their pocketbooks” is to have the bankers’ jobs at risk through free market sanctions on their banks’ continued viability—let those banks fail and enter bankruptcy. And the best way to achieve that would be to eliminate the too-big-too-fail sewage of Dodd-Frank.

Sorry I’m late with this today.  Ate up with dumb and with lazy.

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