Wall Street

Senate Hottie Scott Brown Hearts Financial Reform


Takin' it to the bank(s).

In a victory for the hordes of Washington politicians who have been deeply committed to doing something about Wall Street (regardless of whether that something was likely to be effective), the Senate voted 60 to 38 to move forward with a significant overhaul of the nation's financial regulations. Three of those votes came from moderate Republicans, including Cosmo-pinup Scott Brown, who, after demanding that Democrats remove a tax on banks (and replace the revenue with TARP revenue that was intended to be used to reduce the deficit), gave the bill his blessing. As predicted, once Brown came around, fellow GOP squishes centrists Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins followed. No longer just a guy with a truck, he's now a guy with a truck who decides whether or not to massively increase the power of federal regulators over the nation's banking system.

Which is to say that if you actually wanted to take substantive steps to address the roots of the recent economic crisis, well, you're probably out of luck. As Cato's Mark Calabria argues, the bill takes the Alfred E. Neuman approach to the root causes of the financial meltdown:

No truck, no worries.

In choosing to ignore the actual causes of the financial crisis—loose monetary policy, Fannie/Freddie, and never-ending efforts to expand homeownership—and instead further expanding government guarantees behind financial risk-taking, Congress is eliminating whatever market discipline might have been left in the banking industry.  But we shouldn't be surprised, since this administration and Congress have consistently chosen to ignore the real problems facing our country—unemployment, perverse government incentives for risk-taking, massive fiscal imbalances—and instead pursued an agenda of rewarding special interests and expanding government.

Here's Reason.tv with "Three Reasons the New Financial Regs Won't Fix Anything":

NEXT: Greenspan Chair: So They Can Stop Blaming Him On Libertarians and Start Blaming Him on NYU

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  1. yummy

  2. Brown and the two RINOs from Maine are about all you can expect from NE Blue State Republicans — not as bad as the alternatives, but supporting bad shit after removing some of the worst parts of it.

  3. If you notice, none of those pictures show Brown with any balls. NRO had the lame ass excuse for this. The theory is that if Brown were the deciding vote, he would be blamed for any future meltdowns. So he had to vote for it because God forbid any public servant ever do the right thing and risk actually paying a price for doing so. This was the classic “I don’t want to ever be blamed for anything or run the risk of returning to private life” vote.

    1. Present.

    2. “If you notice, none of those pictures show Brown with any balls.” I noticed, but then I’m female 😉

  4. Scott Brown is a big government republican (sorry, I know its redudant).


    1. Who thought he was anything but? He only got elected because people thought he could be the 41st vote against Obamacare and Coakley was evil incarnate.

      1. John, of course, most of us here regard Marsha Coakley as evil incarnate. But, go back and check the the threads, more than just one or two blokes opined that those of us who pointed out that Scott Brown was not exactly liberty’s BFF were nut jobs who could not see the big picture.

        1. “The big picture” was that Brown was better than Coakley. Not perfect, but better.

          1. Not perfect, but very slightly less bad legislatively.

            (I have no idea whether Brown would have gotten his rocks off fucking over the Amiraults the way Coakley and Harshbarger did.)

    2. And this vote ends any chance he has of being a force in the National Republican party. It might get him re-elected in Massachusetts but it won’t get him anything else.

      1. Of course, the usual suspects will decry the GOP shutting out another “moderate” voice from the GOP leadership.

    3. duh! He’s from Massachusetts.

  5. “he’s now a guy with a truck who decides whether or not to massively increase the power of federal regulators”

    No, he’s one of 60.

  6. OK, enough about the death throes of the United States.

    I just finished Red Dead Redemption (two thumbs up). Is Borderlands worth a go while I wait for Fallout New Vegas?

    1. Bad Company 2. Best sound effects I’ve encountered in a video game. Online play is better than MW2.

    2. I don’t do online, due in part to the low bandwidth of my satellite internet connection.

      I’m also kind of off the straight shooters, more of an RP guy these days.

      1. “I don’t do online, due in part to the low bandwidth of my satellite internet connection.”

        You must really live in Bum Fuck Egypt.

      2. I’m pretty sure Borderlands is mostly online.

      3. West Texas, thank you.

        The fiber optic line never got extended far enough south of town for me, and Verizon has put all new internet infrastructure projects on indefinite hold.

        1. That would be bum fuck Egypt. Unless you live in Alpine or Fort Davis, I don’t know how you do it. North of I 10 is just awful.

          1. That’s my land… So I live in Houston.

      4. Borderlands is pretty cool, and you can probably find it for cheap (used) at Gamespot.

        1. And what Jordan said . . .

      5. Borderlands is very enjoyable. Lots and lots of shooting things. I may get some of the DLCs to change up the action a bit. I’m already finished with the 2nd walkthrough.

        Playing Supreme Commander 2 more right now.

      6. I’m lookin’ forward to Civilization 5.

        1. You’re not the only one.

      7. If you haven’t played the two Mass Effect games, I recommend them.

        1. I have. Also both Assassin’s Creed games.

          1. Super Mario Kart?
            for SNES?

            1. Also, I just began RDR… who did you like the whole story? (No spoilers!)

              1. fucking preview…


              2. I liked the storyline just fine. It kind of slows down at the end (I guess they were going for character development), but the ending caught me by surprise. I wasn’t expecting [spoiler deleted]. Plus, the very ending (you’ll know when you get there) pretty much forces you to [spoiler deleted].

                I’m kind of OCD when it comes to completion, but I was starting to wear out a little on the game and left a few things undone (a few outfits and hideouts not completed, and I think there may have been a stranger I didn’t get to).

      8. I am currently addicted to Borderlands. It’s basically a FPS version of Diablo in a wild west/apocolpytic/alien desert setting. Haven’t played it on-line yet; I’m going to finish the first player campaign (I’m going to try to do all the missions) and buff up my character before I do so.

    3. Borderlands isn’t as deep as Fallout or RDR, but after the first 2-3 hours, it’s incredibly addictive. I probably spent more time on it last year than any other game. I also highly recommend the General Knoxxx DLC.

  7. We’re through the looking glass here folks.

    The Bolsheviks instituted Marxism with REVolution, and the “progressives” are gradually instituting Marxism by EVOlution, but the end result will be the same.

    Many of the goals of Marx and Communists have already been accomplished in this country: a graduated income tax, the destruction of states’ rights, internationalism, the confiscation of private property and the wholesale nationalization of private corporations, the government having the power to print (which is NOT the same as “coin”) money. Also the breakdown of the family and the promotion of obscenity, homosexuality, divorce, and gender change operations as “normal” or “free speech”.

    1. Also the breakdown of the family and the promotion of obscenity, homosexuality, divorce, and gender change operations as “normal” or “free speech”.

      You lost me at this last sentence. You know that this site is culturally as well as economically libertarian, don’t you?

      1. You can’t have fiscal conservatism until you have social conservatism. The Marxists know this, this is why Hollywood and the degrading of our mass-media is one of their favorite tools.

        The breakdown of family and religion WILL LEAD to a larger state.

        1. You can’t fiscal conservatism until you have social conservatism.

          Fuck social conservatism. Fuck it right in its closet-homosexual homophobic ass.

          And fuck religion right in the pope, too. All of them.

          Your premise is false.

        2. By what means would you propose to “clean up” Hollywood and the mass media? Remember that it cannot be the state, or else you contradict yourself.

          I see no reason not to let family and religion fend for themselves, anyway. They may change drastically over the years, but they’ll never die as long as they serve legitimate human needs. Why shouldn’t the same Hayekian process of spontaneous order that shapes the free market be allowed to shape family and religion?

          1. And thanks to you for replying in a much more mature manner than I could.

            My goat was gotten, as it were.

            It is the same problem I have with a lot of Tea Partier’s… start talking about Police abuses, Drugs, prostitution, etc. and their answer usually is not in line with the whole “small government” they think they advocate.

            1. I’m used to thinking of myself as recklessly hot-blooded on the Internet. I’m truly flattered that someone admires my cool head.

              We libertarians need to be patient with everyone else. I’m optimistic that they’ll eventually catch up with us, even if it takes longer than our lifetimes.

          2. Why shouldn’t the same Hayekian process of spontaneous order that shapes the free market be allowed to shape family and religion?

            Because, that’s change. Change is bad.

        3. TEA, please recite this prayer aloud with me before posting:

          I do my thing and you do your thing.

          I am not in this world to live up to your expectations,
          And you are not in this world to live up to mine.
          You are you, and I am I, and if by chance we find each other, it’s beautiful.
          If not, it can’t be helped.
          (Fritz Perls, 1969)

    2. Okay this IS verbatim Glenn Beck shtick. It is frightening how much his BS is polluting the Internet these days.

      1. “It is frightening how much his BS is polluting the Internet these days.”


      2. Okay this IS verbatim Tony shtick. It is frightening how much his BS is polluting the Internet these days.

      3. I know Beck is a lot of different things but I wasn’t aware he was a homophobe.

    3. Ok, I’ll bite, since nobody else did: Why does it matter if money is in coin for as opposed to paper form?

      1. Coins used to be made of precious metals.

        1. Yeah, ok, but what if the value of the metal is worth only a small fraction of the face value of the coin? The only modern coin that the value of the metal inside the coin is close to the face value of the coin is the penny. Or, what if the coin is made out of something nearly worthless (a plastic coin, for instance)? Paper can be recycled, so it too has a (very small) monetary value.

          1. The only modern coin that the value of the metal inside the coin is close to the face value of the coin is the penny.

            The melt value of nickels is 98% of face, and before industry slowed down so dramatically, was worth well over face.

      2. I think he means printing money is inflationary while coining money (I assume either made of gold or on the gold standard) is noninflationary.

      3. You can print paper money until you run out of ink and paper, allowing unlimited debasement of the currency. The same would go for plastic coins, of course.

        You can only make coins until you run out of metal.

        Traditionally, the value of coins was the value of metal; coins were just a handy way of certifying the weight and purity of the specie.

  8. What? People are surprised by Scott Brown?


    Looks like the gulf oil leak has finally been stopped. Here.

    1. I wouldn’t call it ‘finally’ just yet.

  9. Let’s be totally fair to Senator Brown. He’s witless and gutless to support this “reform” bill, but it’s a cheap shot for Suderman to mention his Cosmo pinup in this context. If a senator with a past as a Playboy model had been the subject of this post, feminists would be well justified in objecting to such condescension.

    Trust me on this. I write Reflections on Playboy. Have I mentioned that?

    1. No such thing as a cheap shot when it comes to pols. And, re. Brown, the gals over at Jezebel remarked that a photo spread like that would be a career killer for a female politician. On that, I’m actually inclined to agree with them. Palin even caught flack for her totally benign Runner’s World pics.

      1. It used to be a career killer for a member of Congress to be homosexual. Depending on the region of the country, it’s not necessarily so anymore. What’s your point about that?

        1. That comparison doesn’t really hold up. Public opinion on gays has been shifting rapidly. Commenting on women’s appearances and sexuality has always been a favorite pastime, and that’s not going to change. My points were simply: (1) if you want to go into the scumfuckery of politics, nothing is off limits; and (2) Brown’s Comso pics didn’t hurt his career the way they would have for a woman, but even if they had, see point (1).

          1. I think you miss my point. Peter Suderman is not a campaign strategist for whom the political ends justify the rhetorical means. He is writing for a culturally libertarian publication, which requires a principled avoidance of moralistic red herrings. Suderman would never be excused for calling Barney Frank a faggot. It’s a similar thing.

      2. I can’t even imagine what Jezebel is saying about the Czech pols. Probably some jealousy and anger-filled rant, all centered at the patriarchy (oh wait, I just described every Jezebel post).

        1. If mind-numbing stupidity is your preferred flavor of masochism, I recently discovered there are feminists even wackier than the Jezebel/Feministing crowd. It’s enough of a caricature that I initially wondered if it was a joke.

  10. Thank God.

    It’s nice to know someone’s in my corner. …protecting me from the loans I want.

    I used to like to think that all this stuff could be undone later, but this jackass of a president’s thrown so much shit on the wall, some of it’s gotta stick.

    What a friggin’ jackass he is.

    1. Oh, all of this shit is for your own good. The big bad corporations/banks/insurers don’t care about you. Our government is here to make sure that they don’t eat you alive. Why aren’t you more grateful, you fucking ingrate? Government is a force for good!

      And empowering the stupid and the ugly. Like Bwarney.

      Fucking ingrates. All you have to do is believe in the change and you will be set free!

    2. Ken, you can at least take solace in the fact that since Brown was elected we no longer have to worry about Obamacare passing…Oh wait, Doh!

  11. The financial reform bill expected to clear Congress this week is chock-full of provisions that have little to do with the financial crisis but cater to the long-standing agendas of labor unions and other Democratic interest groups.

    Principal among them is a measure to make it easier for unions, environmental groups and other activist organizations that hold shares to put their representatives on the boards of directors of every corporation in the United States.

    Yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay it’s just a clusterfuck!

    1. And trial lawyers who work on contingensy will now be able to deduct their expenses irrespective of how the case is ruled.

    2. Not to mention all the many new federal offices to monitor race/gender/whatever “diversity.” All those leftists with majors in Diversity Studies need jobs!

    3. It’s the most transparent and ethical administration in history!

  12. You can’t have fiscal conservatism until you have social conservatism.

    You can’t have freedom without economic freedom.

    1. THAT computes.

  13. Wow, now thats some pretty funny stuff dude.


  14. In case anyone is confused, “Take your ‘social conservatism’ and shove it right up your ass” is the point I was making.

    1. I think I made that point nicely above…

  15. Saying you can’t have fiscal conservatism until you have social conservatism sort of begs the question of what you mean by “social conservatism.”

    I can perfectly well imagine a very libertine society that is fiscally conservative. There is no necessary contradiction between being laissez faire on all kinds of sexual and religious issues and being fiscally conservative.

    Deep libertarians (which I tend toward myself) say you need a strong civil society in order to have a minarchist government, but the culture, ethics, and so forth of that civil society don’t have to be what now passes as social conservatism.

  16. I want my campaign contribution back. Traitor!!!

  17. I think there’s something to the idea that you need a conservative outlook to get to fiscal conservatism.

    I think that one of the basics of liberalism is the idea that people are interdependent, and I think conservatism and the idea of independence are run pretty parallel.

    I’m trying to imagine some liberal saying that we can’t do something because it makes people interdependent, and I just can’t remember hearing any liberal say that. …off the top of my head.

    You can take that all the way to the wall with conservatives though. …from being against government consumer protection agencies to the drug war. I’ll hear liberals argue against the drug war in terms of it not being in the best interest of society, coming from an old school conservative background, I’m kinda partial to the suggestion that I don’t really care if people sit home and smoke out all day so long as it doesn’t have anything to do with me.

    …so long as I don’t have to pay for it? That’s fiscal conservatism in a nutshell… Just because old people can’t afford the health care they want, that doesn’t mean the government should pay for it…

    You can’t get there from a standpoint of interdependency.

  18. Remember back when Brown was the darling of the Tea Party? When all the fauxtarians were creaming their shorts over him?

    Remind me again why he was a better choice than the libertarian.

    1. See my posts above at 4:21 and 4:23.

  19. mmmm, I’m sure whatever Mr. Brown said was intelligent. All I know is that he was gorgeous in those photos.

    I know its completely off topic, but if a female did the same sort of pictures he did, she would never have gotten into public office, because those pictures would have been used to dirty her rep. Just sayin’.

    1. Mel Gibson certainly wouldn’t approve.

  20. I want to take this opportunity to thank the Tea Party for electing Massachusetts Republican Scott Brown since he voted for the Financial Reform Bill and help the President of the United States with another legislative victory, thank you Tea Party. Have you heard of “Unintended Consequences” or “Blowback”? Was he working for the Tea Party, himself or our Country, hmmm only you can answer this one?

    The problem is this. Tea Party candidates will win a number of these congressional races because local districts are often safely partisan in nature. They can make their wild, unfounded claims, crazy accusations, etc., and win. That means not only are we likely to see an increase in Republican seats in both houses, we’re likely to see more antics, more insanity, more stupidity. At the same time they’re going to do everything they can to derail Obama’s policies which will likely mean high unemployment, a moribund economy, and more compromises on policy positions that make no one happy.

    That could literally mean that if the Republicans put up a legitimate candidate in 2012, they could win. Such a result is bad enough, but the likely response for the Democrats is to move further to the “middle” to placate voters. As we’ve seen over the last decade, the “middle” in American politics is basically on the verge of being an 80s Republican. Increasingly that means we’ll have a political landscape of a conservative party and ratfuck insane parties. The former, given it’s track record, slowly moving to the right, the latter, given it’s track record, loudly screaming “socialism, communism, fascism!!!”

    If we continue on this course, privatization will be socialism.

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