Awkward economic moments.
I was rudely interrupted by a robo call from USAA, which use to be limited to those who had actually served in the US military. But just like GEICO - Government Employee Insurance Corporation - once was about providing services to members of the Evil Liberal Welfare State so called employee's, times change.
So of course I do a web search, and get back all sorts of strange details. Until up pops, on, of all places, yahoo news, a reference to the SCARY:
The one message USAA wants to leave with their members is to "contact your U.S. Senator now." Presumably, the contact should be to express support for a USAA proposal to write a loophole into the Volcker rule that exempts insurance companies from rules that will apply to investment banks with consumer banking operations, like JPMorgan
[ cf USAA wants your support in exempting itself from the Volcker Rule ( emphasis mine )]
How did JP Morgan wind up wandering into a space formerly, uh, allowed only to insurance firms offering consumer banking operations? What if there had been laws that were doing the volckerThingie, but were known as say Glass-Steagall Act
which kept the great wall of china between the investment banks consumer banking operations? You know, so that the banks would not fall into the moral hazard of betting against their own clients?
I am not advocating that we retreat, as is the popular charm of teaTardia, to a time before currency, and that we shall all have to keep chickens about for trade. But one does ahve to wonder if there is at least some amusingly comical and acceptable level of Schadenfreude
in this moment? That gosh, it is not merely a mystical theoretical discussion of the dismal science; as debated by mere pointy headed academic pinheads. But the Big Giggler of listening to retired major General say
"We're just trying to ensure that the Volcker Rule, while still applying to a depository institution would not apply to the business of insurance," says Wildermuth. "The specific wording is above my pay grade."
( op cit ) ( emphasis mine )
Ah such tastey irony.
Now there is that scary cranky old guy strategy that leaps to mind:
Why not give up this failed radical agenda!
And return to what worked.
But that would mean re-relearning why it was that the Glass-Steagall Act had been put into play. It might mean actually addressing what sort of finanacial 'too big to fail' systems we can afford in our country.
But that way would mean that one would want a conservativism based upon the actual history actually lived, and potentially, learned from. Rather than as we have been watching with the gnostic knowledge of the neo-cons and their neo-neo-con follow ons, where the past is as it should have been, if only that had been our past. Such a slippery beast is not the sort of thing that one can ever measure or even know! Since clearly the past will keep changing as the needs of the neo-neo-neo-con's need a new past that they had always supported.
Maybe now more than ever, we must address the closing of the conservative mind. ( if you do the web search you will ironically find the red communist fellow travellor Dinesh D'Souza over at the NRO, back in march of 2007, calling for a questioning of 'the closing of the conservative mind'. So we really should not blame just Who closed the conservative mind
as the source of the scary bits. )
Yes, you really should read The Epistemic Closing of the Conservative Mind
since as long as we do not have any of the core foundations for a reasonable economy, such as 'the prudent man theory', there will be little chance of recovering a stable and reasonable financial sector. Or is that too a part of the problem. In the new world order, the idea of a stable and reasonable financial sector is now some sort of dangerous liberal idea to be opposed.
So before we wander into the chaos of the current story blending about SEC players porn surfing, rather than doing their job of regulating the economy, while the financial sector was cratering, we may need to have an epistemic community
that is capable of detecting the Irony.
For our slower readers. If you opposed the Regulation of the Economy, on say religious grounds, would you care who got the patronage jobs at places like the SEC? Where they were just there, well, to help drive up the deficit, rather than to provide value for services rendered. Does it really matter what they were doing? Just so long as they were not getting in the way of the economy. Which of course is so self regulating.
As a USAA member I am somewhat amused. I generally like the crew, they have done right by me. So I do hope that we can find a way to work the deal here. We need to find a way to correctly re-implement the relevant portions of the Glass-Steagal Act that would allow us to have the required separations.
And yes, since you asked, the USAA
banking was established in December 1983. Which in my timeline is a bit before the Clinton Administration imposed the redIslamicGayTerrorism of Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (GLBA)
that ended Glass-Steagal.
The alternative here might be that, well, gosh USAA has always been some sort of Renegade Organization? You know like a Maverick? Or, uh....