October 17th, 2008


New Order

Under the new financial order of Il Duce and his overseas counterparts, shareholders have no rights. The new order works like this:

1. If you want to have a viable corporation, particularly in the financial sector, you need a government guarantee.

2. If you want a government guarantee, you have to accept government restrictions.

3. The government restrictions can be changed at any time. There are no rules.

Do you want to be a shareholder in that environment? Today, banks are allowed to pay dividends, but lots of people think that's not fair, given that taxpayer money is at risk. In any case, shareholders and managers can no longer determine dividend policy without at the very least wondering what Il Duce will think.
Mussolini and World Equity Markets by Arnold Kling

"We got into this crisis because power was overly concentrated relative to knowledge. "

Knowledge today is increasingly dispersed. Power was already too concentrated in the private sector, with CEO's not understanding their own businesses.

But the knowledge-power discrepancy in the private sector is nothing compared to what exists in the public sector. What do Congressmen understand about the budgets and laws that they are voting on? What do the regulators understand about the consequences of their rulings?
The Political Economy of the Bailout by Arnold Kling