That’s the headline question of Ari Weinberg’s piece in the Sunday Wall Street Journal.
It may be time to re-examine the entire ETF ecosystem,
said SEC Commissioner Luis Aguilar. Fellow Commissioner Kara Stein echoed the scheme:
Now is the time to be asking the hard questions about ETFs[.]
The article is well worth reading in its entirety; there are a number of good points regarding what an investor should look for in considering an ETF investment.
However, these cautions are not unique to ETFs; all investment vehicles need such careful consideration and similar questions answered. Government need not get involved here, beyond enforcing transparency so that investors—us Americans—can make informed decisions. Or foolish ones: that’s our prerogative, and no government can legitimately interfere to protect us from ourselves. Government can do that much only by taking our freedoms from us, and it can do that much only by imposing its definitions of appropriate decisions on us. Which is to say, only the men in government can do that much and only by taking our freedoms from us and by imposing their own, personally beneficial definitions of appropriateness on us.
We’ll make our own decisions, thank you. And, through the aggregation of us, Mr Free Market will deal with the risks and gains of ETFs.