Home / Deregulation: The 800 lb. Incontinent Chick Has Come Home to Roost

Deregulation: The 800 lb. Incontinent Chick Has Come Home to Roost

Please Share...Print this pageTweet about this on TwitterShare on Facebook0Share on Google+0Pin on Pinterest0Share on Tumblr0Share on StumbleUpon0Share on Reddit0Email this to someone

For thirty years or thereabouts, those in Washington – no matter the party – have completely rolled over the supposed evils of FDR’s New Deal. “DEREGULATE!” Was the war cry of American corporations as they sensed the will of those who had helped form those FDR protections against these economic royalists begin to slacken. To make that cry more appealing lobbyists, already a bane on the nation’s capital, swept in with silk suits and fat silk purses full of campaign contributions, beginning in the 1970s.

In the last few months, and especially this last week, the tsunami about which that some of us have raised the alarm finally arrived. It would be wonderful to sit back and say, “told ya so” if it weren’t for the fact that once again the only people hurt by this are – here’s a shocker – you and I. Those who caused this financial earthquake have either already walked away from it or are walking away right now – right to their Gulf Streams waiting for them at private airports, and right off to their private isles, where they’ll ride out the storm, wait until after the new year and then come back home to – one way or the other – carry on as usual.

Let’s take a quick stroll through the wonderful history of deregulation. The specifics we’ll leave to you to go look up. Trust me, its all there for those who wish to see…

The oil companies screamed for deregulation in the late 70’s. With deregulation they would be free to “reinvest in America’s energy infrastructure and make us independent of foreign influence.”

Since 1979 there has not been one new oil refinery built in this country. The oil companies will tell you its because of tough environmental rules that make it too expensive to build those refineries. Everyone who believes that old hag of a shibboleth please step forward.

The power industry. “Deregulate us so we can invest in the power infrastructure of America!” Each winter and summer for decades we have watched the now deregulated power behemoths struggle to keep the electricity flowing across antiquated power grids. We’ve watched them fuss and argue that if they’d only be allowed to build coal fired generation plants, like those that turn China’s skies black with pollution – pollution so staggering in its quantity mind you, that it actually registers in the air of the Western United States – if we’d just let them do this all would be fine… The fine here, in their minds, means “fine particulate matter that clogs the lungs.

The airline industry…. Enough said…

Then we come to the world of finance (and I include banking, savings and loans, etc., in this) and the brilliant, greed-induced repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act. Who pushed this through? Why Mr. McCain’s genius economic advisor – Phil Gramm. This repeal, back in ‘99, followed on the heels of another smaller melt-down (though it didn’t seem so at the time). The Savings and Loan scandal of a decade earlier. And who was at the center of that? A swell group of “well meaning” and “innocent” senators dubbed the Keating Five. One of those five was a Senator from Arizona named McCain.

So, we have a man who was at the center of one of the largest melt-downs in US economic history now running for president, and he’s chosen as his economic advisor the man responsible in large part for you and me now taking on $1,000,000,000,000 in additional debt.

What we were told at the time of course was this: “deregulate the banking structure so that America can really lead the way in developing brilliant new ways to structure credit and debt financing!”

And why not? It is essentially the last thing America can export. All of our manufacturing jobs are gone – in part due to deregulation and of course NAFTA, one the of biggest and costliest deregulations of all time.

The only thing America has left to export are movies and TV shows. Our main manufacturing industry left in this country seems to be takeout pizza.

You won’t hear the cry for deregulation again any time soon. If Obama is elected, you will hear it sooner, rather than later. They’ll complain that he is stifling American business. If McCain is elected, you’ll hear very little complaint, as the players that caused this mess slip quietly back into New York and D.C. to resume their positions.

But let’s understand something here that FDR understood back then: regulation is another word for legally enforced restraint against unmitigated GREED. That really is ALL IT IS. Don’t listen to economists, who, at least as a sub-species are about as useful as a pack of hermaphroditic weasels. Economic theory is not even that. It is a utterly useless exercise in trying to paint essentially human activity (largely operated or NOT in a moral and ethical environment) in scientific terms.

The 800 lb., chick that is has now come home to crap all over our American nest is the offspring of GREED. That is ALL it is. Anyone who tries to tell you different is either an idiot or a con artist. Either way, they need a hard slap into the middle of next week.

The emperor is naked NOW. He’s ALWAYS been naked. WAKE UP.

Powered by

About Marlowe

  • What everyone seems not to grasp – with Marlowe in the lead – is that there is a difference between actual regulation and government control. What FDR left us with was government control and interference, and in reaction to that the deregulators went too far in the opposite direction and apparently forgot that a reasonable level of government oversight wasn’t such a bad thing. Now we’re going to overreact again in the other direction and probably end up with more stifling government interference. If we’d just steered a reasonable course the whole time with free capitalism and reasonable government oversight we probably could have avoided this entire mess.



    Dave… I can’t believe I’m doing this but I am ALMOST agreeing with you! FDR didn’t go to far… What happened – what seems to always happen, is that the bureaucrats, after time goes by looks for reasons to perpetuate their existence. ALL human organizations do this. Hell, you see it all the time in corporations – those supposedly streamlined money making machines. You ever read the BS an HR manager puts out for a job such as a customer service agent? Hell, it goes on for 3 friggin’ pages!

    I agree that there is a chance of “over correction” IF, indeed there is any kind of comprehensive regulatory agency established – which I doubt.

    But you see, there already WERE such regulators in existence. The problem is they either a.) didn’t do their jobs or b.) COULDN’T do their jobs because they had been stripped of any real power decades ago – progressively stripped by BOTH parties mind you.

    I’ll leave it there for now… I’ve got to go have another martini and try and get over the fact that I came THIS CLOSE to almost completely agreeing with you DN…



  • I bet we can also agree that bureaucrats are the problem in far more things than we ought to allow. Career bureaucrats ultimately beocome devoted to their own interests and to the interests of those they form alliances with in private industry and no longer serve the interests of the people.

    As for the regulators in this situation, they were set working at cross purposes to themselves and serving at least two masters. And they’re only going to be as good as the instructions they are given and the oversight which congress applies to them, which was poor at best. On the one hand they’re supposed to make sure that loans are given to people without regard to a variety of politically incorrect criteria and on the other they’re being asked to make sure that insurance companies don’t take excessive risk. So they let the insurance companies get away with minimizing risk by exploiting subprime borrowers, thereby satisfying everyone and creating a big mess. But it SHOULD have been obvious to someone in a position of superior authority in congress or the fed or the treasury department or the white house how fucked up the situation was, and no one stepped up and did something about it.


  • bliffle

    Seeing the runaway predation of unregulated pirates almost makes one nostalgic for the ineptness of government bureaucrats.

  • Cannonshop

    Yeah, Bliffle, except that it’s largely DUE to the ineptness of Government Bureaucrats-because the remaining regulations in place were not enforced, and self-serving apparatchiks gave false or misleading testimony to satisfy corrupt congresscritters instead of doing their damn jobs.


    Bif and Cannon… (Wow, Sounds like a chocolate shop somewhere in London doesn’t it…)

    You both have it right… And with Dave being almost nearly kinda right… Wow. The planets are aligning…


  • “Career bureaucrats ultimately beocome devoted to their own interests and to the interests of those they form alliances with in private industry and no longer serve the interests of the people.”

    Amen. There should be term limits, and limits on how much they can accept from lobbyists.

    It’s been a long time since being in Congress meant being a public servant.

  • Lumpy

    term limits for elected offices make no sense but term limits for bureaucrats sounds like a fine idea.

  • Pablo

    As usual your adorable Lumpy.

  • bliffle

    #5 is BS.

  • Cannonshop


    Not entirely, Marlowe-Bliffle believes in the essential goodness of Regulatory Agents, I think they’re just as self-centred and career-obsessed as middle managers in Corporate America (but slightly less talented).

    He thinks they reported honestly to oversight committees, I think they lied their asses off to make sure that any blame that came down didn’t land on their desks, just like bunker-mentality theory-X middle-management types ALWAYS do (we have more than a few at The Boeing Company, and I recall there was no shortage in the Army of those types either.)

    Then again, I tend to think of “Dilbert” as essentially non-fiction gussied up to protect the innocent, and that waste, fraud, and abuse are more the norm than the exception in large organizations with high levels of complexity and amatuer oversight.

  • bliffle

    Is cannon a mind reader? Can he divine what is in peoples minds, or is he just making things up for his own convenience, when he says things like:

    “Marlowe-Bliffle believes in the essential goodness of Regulatory Agents,”

  • Cannonshop

    I interpret based on your arguments and stated perspectives, Bliffle. Unless you don’t believe what you’re saying?

  • georgio

    I too agree with Dave but in simple terms I think he is saying ..IF ONLY EVERYONE WAS JUST HONEST.
    could anyone explain how this whole mess isn’t just like the pyramid scheme or the ponzie scheme.


    Cannon… I never stated anything remotely like you suggest in #11. And you must have meant something considerably different than what you wrote in #5.

    The regulatory agencies that exist are by and large the ones put into place during the time of FDR or shortly there after.

    The PROBLEM is that over the decades since the late 70s they’ve had their TEETH pulled, year after year… Eventually those in power installed YES men in these agencies who not only wouldn’t oppose market behavior that was destructive but would SUPPORT it…

    Now, Cannon, that seemed to be, generally, what you were saying in #5. And that’s what I was briefly agreeing with…

    If that ISN’T what you meant to say AT ALL, I might suggest you take a refresher course in English.


  • Cannonshop


    Well, thing is, what you briefly agreed with was, for the most part, something I agree with as well…however, I tend to include the incompetents we elect with the incompetents they, in turn, appoint, the “Yes Men” you mention in #16. Bureaucracies that feel under threat tend to develop the kind of “Bunker Mentality” that allows “Yes men” to thrive without threat of whistleblowers. If you’ve worked for a Large corporation, you’ve probably encountered the type.

  • bliffle

    Cannon ‘interprets’ without knowing, i.e., a sort of sleazy lie.

    Desperate Cannon? Grasping at straws? Do you feel you are drowning as your unregulated ship goes under?

  • Cannonshop

    Not MY ship, Bliffle, I don’t believe that Lassaiz’Faire is a good policy, but I DO think that regulations should be enforceable, enforced, and able to be complied with. (I also think we have too many laws, they’re too complex, and have too many exceptions and exemptions.) It’s not inconsistent, Bliffle. Anyone that wants to play should be able to understand the rules, and the guys we the people hire to enforce those rules should have the spine and the backing to do so, and the balls to take the hit when they’re wrong.

    I’d also like to see a few hundered executives wearing blaze-orange or bright pink paper jammies in a maximum security prison, sharing cells with the rest of the criminals, along with a whole nest of snakes that have infested our government and taken the bribes, been the yes-men, and all around assisted those executives in wrecking my country’s economy.

    Considering what’s infested the Oversight committees, that’s most of the Incumbents from both parties, plus a huge number of current and former regulatory officials, PLUS a huge number of pus-bag FORMER incumbents that lost the last election cycle, along with every Speaker of the House since Tip O’Neill (who’s only excluded because he’s already dead.)

    I’m (obviously) not going to get what I want, but I’ll settle for as many as can be nailed any way that the law allows, it’s only unfortunate that there aren’t a whole bunch of Lawyers who can file civil suits to impoverish these fucks and drive them from both corporate, and public life, and down into the land of selling their wives on the street for crack money.


    Cannon… You seem to have clarified yourself here… And I am in general agreement with you…

    I’m afraid you’re going to suffer severe chest pains though as we watch the new government agency HAND BACK to the very people who created this mess the new “tools” to clean it up (with the “tools” including grotesque salaries…)

    It’s gonna happen. The old boy network is literally incapable, even when they get some mental nudge that they SHOULD, of breaking out of their MO…


  • Cannonshop

    I Know.

  • bliffle

    Marlowe is right. Even at this moment an unholy alliance of Wall Streeters (masquerading as Federal Treasury officials) and neo-republican congress-whores (now stripped of all pretense of Fiscal Responsibility) are angling to use the crisis to jam through this $750billion gift to Wall Street.

    I might remind you that there was NO crisis when 2 million americans lost their homes to the wild machinations of this pirate-operated economy. Then it was “ho hum” for those people and some Calvinistic chastising and finger wagging at people who were told they were buying more house than they could afford and they should be ashamed of themsellves for speculating like that.

    At the same time this Unholy Alliance is going to authorize their pals at Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley to take over banking enterprises, thus completing the debacle authored by McCain adviser Phil Gramm to loot your banking account in order to shore up their failing market wagers and wild speculations.

    This is such an outright theft of the last scraps of money that any ordinary american might have anywhere that it is utterly breathtaking.

    Even if you have prudently removed your money from US banks you will STILL be financially persecuted by the astonishing new tax policies which certainly must follow the assumption of Wall Street debt by these bounders.

    Plus, the inflationary cyclone that will follow all this will simply demolish every semblance of fiscal order and probably social order as well.

    The only defense that we have now in Washington is the much despised Pelosi who is going to fight this flight to insolvency and chaos.

    Some people might have to cast off the chains of their partisan beliefs in order to survive. Adapt or die.


    Biff… I agree here too. If anyone is foolish enough to think that the fox has become repentant now that he’s cornered they deserve whatever they get.

    The power-that-be will twiddle around while the election looms, hoping that Americans, with their 5 second attention spans….



    attention spans… Oh! And they’ll assume we’ll shift our attention to the election only, well, maybe what candy to get for Halloween too…

    Let’s see what FDR said, back in 1936. This is a little portion of his speech to the Democratic National Convention…

    To quote FDR in 1936:

    For out of this modern civilization economic royalists carved new dynasties. New kingdoms were built upon concentration of control over material things. Through new uses of corporations, banks and securities, new machinery of industry and agriculture, of labor and capital-all undreamed of by the fathers-the whole structure of modern life was impressed into this royal service.
    There was no place among this royalty for our many thousands of small business men and merchants who sought to make a worthy use of the American system of initiative and profit. They were no more free than the worker or the farmer. Even honest and progressive-minded men of wealth, aware of their obligation to their generation, could never know just where they fitted into this dynastic scheme of things.
    It was natural and perhaps human that the privileged princes of these new economic dynasties, thirsting for power, reached out for control over Government itself. They created a new despotism and wrapped it in the robes of legal sanction. In its service new mercenaries sought to regiment the people, their labor, and their property. And as a result the average man once more confronts the problem that faced the Minute Man.
    The hours men and women worked, the wages they received, the conditions of their labor-these had passed beyond the control of the people, and were imposed by this new industrial dictatorship. The savings of the average family, the capital of the small business man, the investments set aside for old age-other people’s money-these were tools which the new economic royalty used to dig itself in.

  • cuervodeluna

    They will rob you blind as long as you let them do it.

    Which means that the collective YOU is the problem.

    Gringos always believe that nothing will ever happen to THEM.

    I think that used to be called “exceptionalism”, or some such nonsense.

  • Jordan Richardson

    Each time you say “gringo,” I take a shot of tequila. 11:12 in the morning and I’m already fuckin’ wasted…


    cuervodeluna… So nice of you to show your prejudicial eye so early in the morning… For your information I am half Mexican. My mother was born and raised in Guadalajara, Mexico… As a matter of fact my ancestors were some of the largest land holders in California BEFORE the gringos showed up…

    And since my father was not JUST a gringo but a Texan I guess I can speak from both sides of the goddamned border, can’t I?

    [Personal attack deleted by Comments Editor]


  • cuervodeluna


    WHAT, specifically, do you believe that I wrote that offended you so mightily?

    I do not believe that your ethnicity was the question here.

    Swaering, foaming at the mouth, personally attacking me and CR erased it before I even got to read it.

    You have lost effing control, man. Tome las cosas con calma. No es mi culpa que Gringolandia ya se tronó.

  • cuervodeluna

    And just so you don’t think you are such hot stuff, I am a Native American, so it was MY land before YOUR people showed up there.

    No wonder Gringolandia is paddling its canoe over Niagara Falls–folks are effing irrational.


    Native American huh? What tribe? I’ve spent the last 25 years working on quite a few Reservations. Where are your people located?

    You might want to take a look at your next Mexican… The brown skin… Dead give away that they’ve NATIVE blood in them too. Or does “Native American” stop at the border for you?

  • Clavos


    I, too, was born and raised in Mexico (Mexico City).

    Since my parents were both American, I hold dual citizenship, but culturally am more Mexican than American, as I did not move to the US until after high school, and then only after a year or so in pre-Castro Cuba.

    I spent more than 20 years working for a Mexican corporation (both in the US and Mexico, as well as in Texas), so like you, I’m comfortable on either side of the border.

  • cuervodeluna

    I am starting to lose patience with you, Marlowe.

    My people are Waban-Aki. Google them. My family comes from the Quebec group.

    And I have lived in an indigenous village here in Mexico for 15 years–with my adopted indigenous family.


  • Jordan Richardson

    I am a Native American, so it was MY land before YOUR people showed up there.

    Yeah, and I collect apologies from the Great Potato Famine still. Y’know, cuz I had so much to do with it…


    Wabanaki… which is the only way I’ve ever seen it spelled… That’s roughly the Maine area… But you said Q’bec.

    Now you’re with your “adoptive” indigenous family.


    Having run security for many Native American events throughout the West and Midwest, including sundances and intercontinental indigenous peoples conferences I’m reminded of the time when I had to stop a fellow who “claimed” he was Native American and therefore should be allowed to enter the “Natives Only” portion of the consultation…

    “Really?” I said, staring at the pasty skinned twenty-something with somewhat glazed eyes.

    “And what tribe are you affiliated with?” I asked. He stared at me for a long moment, concentrating very hard and then proudly announced:


    I sent him packing…



    BTW cuervodeluna you sound remarkably like a person who used to post here from down around your neck of the woods – “moonraven”. Any chance you two know one another?

    And I have to also say I am damn impressed with your “village’s” internet connection! Your response times are AMAZING! They string a fiber optic all the way out there to the village?


  • Clavos

    They’re the same person, Marlowe.

    cuervodeluna means moonraven


    I figured… I was trying to – ah… never mind. Thanks C…


  • Baronius

    Seems to me that when stupid people make high-risk loan deals – on either side of the equation – no one is to blame but them. I don’t see what regulation has to do with it. I sure don’t see what bailouts have to do with it.

    People who can’t pay their mortgages get kicked out of their houses. Banks who lose money go broke. Those aren’t signs that the system is failing; quite the opposite. The failure comes when the government protects individuals or institutions from consequences.

  • cuervodeluna


    If you do a google you will find Waban-Aki is the correct spelling and that there is a website.

    Waban-Aki folks–also called Abenakis–are present in Quebec, Vermont and Maine.

    For folks who have an interest in educating themselves about the folks who have lived here on Turtle Island for many thousands of years, there is a good documentary film on dvd from the Canadian Film Board called “Waban-Aki: People from Where the Sun Rises”.

    I am not at all sure what good does it do you to be part Mexican if you don’t know any Spanish.

    And yes, apparently racist person, there are obviously internet connections all over Mexico.

    Carlos Slim Helu didn’t get those 50 plus billions of dollars providing two cans and a string for phone service.

    I don’t know what caused that enormous conflagration in your lower gastrointestinal tract, but it has caused you to be placed at the top of my Ignore list.

    Don’t bother to try engaging me again. I am off to Arizona to see my uncle’s latest group of warbonnets.

  • bliffle

    True, Baronius.

    The justification that Paulson et Cie. advocate are using is that it is necessary to save the economy, and unfortunately we must first sin by saving the banks.

    If we are going to commit sin it should be in favor of citizens, not banks. For one thing, it’s much cheaper. Let the existing banks die and new banks spring up from the bailouts of USA citizens and individuals. It costs a fraction of the amount, gets rid of the losers, and with new institutions we can have newer better regulations for banking.

    For another thing it’s simple justice: the first impulse of the crooks in Washington has been to dump all the blame on home buyers, who made the best deal they could in the face of the exigencies of the markets. We owe apologies to those people for slandering them.

  • cuervodeluna


    Good points.

    From the emails I have been receiving today it appears that a middle-class groundswell is taking shape against the bailout.

  • bliffle

    There seems to be a large non-patrisan opposition to the proposed bailout. Some people see it as a flawed plan (rewarding the crooks), and some are resentful of being manipulated by crisis hysteria.

  • bliffle

    But our neo-Rulers are so wedded to the technique of demonizing ordinary Americans that they just can’t stop.

  • Cannonshop

    I don’t think it’ll go anywhere, though-see, people like ME oppose the bailout, and people like YOU oppose it, and that’s oil-and-water, Bliffle. (I Have sent nastigrams to Patty Murray, Maria Cantwell, and the rest of the Washington Congresscritters over this one, but I expect that’s pissing in the wind mostly.) I figure they’ll just give the evasive answers through their staff, or the nice, empty-of-content form letter (I figure a week or so to get mine, by snail-mail) thanking us for our concern and blowing us off. (sent yours yet? YOU might actually get listened to.)

  • bliffle

    Regardless, the Powers That Be will inleash their Mighty Bludgeon of Self-righteousness to beat little homeowners about the head and shoulders to shame them for creating sub-prime loans and seducing innocent billionaire bankers into providing those risky loans.

    Then they’ll take away their little homes as proper punishment and to provide balm for the injured feelings of our Financial Giants.

    Two million more homeowners are expected to lose their homes.

  • Don Jarrett

    John MCain says that $700 billion would rebuild the entre infrastructure of the country.

    Presumably, he was talking about the U.S.

    He could also be talking about the infrastructure of Iraq, the one he voted to be responsible for in 2002.

    Which country first?

    He has shown which infrastructure is more important to him.

    Country first? America first?

    Just words.

  • Baronius

    Bliffle – Rewarding the crooks? Who committed crimes? You can’t just label something a crime if you don’t like it.

  • Don Jarrett

    “You can’t just label something a crime if you don’t like it.”

    The FBI is curently investigating Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, Lehman, and AIG.

    Does the FBI spend its time investigating things it doesn’t like?

    It’s likely there will be crimes uncovered.

    It’s got to be more than something that just stinks.


    There are crimes then there are “crimes”. A lot of what’s been happening in this country for decades has been perfectly “legal” because the crooks MADE IT legal… Just look at the wholesale re-engineering of our tax system to favor the top 1/10th of 1% in this country. Read DAVID K JOHNSTON’S books, FREE LUNCH and PERFECTLY LEGAL. (Johnston’s a Pulitzer prize winner for the NYT).

    The thieves and their lackeys across the nation, on right wing radio, in print, and even here on BC give a cat-who-ate-the-canary smile and shrug at this wholesale theft and say, “well, no LAWS have been broken!” Pointing out to them the unethical and immoral nature of what’s been done will usually illicit a laugh…

    All the way to the bank…


  • Baronius

    Don – So the existence of an FBI investigation is enough for you to convict. Following such reasoning, I suppose you want all Muslims, Communist screenwriters, and civil rights leaders in jail too.

    Marlowe – I guess that makes me a lackey. But I’m not laughing off charges of immorality. Two people entering into a fair, legal agreement is perfectly moral. The immorality here is when the government comes in by force to violate those contracts or alter their outcome. Do you support government intervention? If so, how do you live with the immorality of that decision?

  • Marlowe


    Surely you don’t think this is a “hostile” government take over do you? Because Wall St., is thrilled, THRILLED I tell you to have its brother, Mr. Paulson, riding to the rescue!

    There is a MASSIVE revolving door in Washington Bar. If I tried to list all those who WERE lobbyist but are NOW congressmen, or WERE senators but are NOW lobbyists or who WERE on the board of directors of this or that Fortune 100 I’d be typing intil the election.

    There is no “barrier” to this flim-flam game man! Come on! You’re no kid! This goes way beyond the spectacle of Mr. Smith Goes to Washington – EVERYONE in Washington is swimming in the same filthy pool…

    I’ve WORKED in the real estate industry and I’ve SEEN the predatory lending. Not one or two or twenty cases Bar-Bar but by HUNDREDS. And that was just what I saw. In my little neck of the woods!

    Let’s put away the old cold war “O my God its SOCIALISM!” hysterics and SEE THIS for what was and IS: GREED on a scale that literally cannot be measured!


  • Baronius

    Mar-Mar, we’re all being coerced. You know that. That’s the injustice here.

  • Marlowe

    Damn straight Bar-Bar… Too damn straight.