Presidential Debates 2012

Mitt Romney Is Wrong: Garage-Based Businesses Are Great

The most infuriating moment of the presidential debate hasn't gotten the attention it deserves.

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The most infuriating moment of the first presidential debate between Mitt Romney and President Obama hasn't gotten the attention it deserves.

That moment was when Governor Romney, the Republican, in response to a question about regulation, declared it "essential" and went on, "You couldn't have people opening up banks in their — in their garage and making loans."

That sound you heard during the debate was the echo of me ripping my hair out while throwing my drink at the television in frustration at the idea of a Republican presidential nominee who portrays himself as the defender of free markets yet who also describes garage-based businesses as a grave danger that must be regulated out of existence.

Among the successful American businesses that began in garages are:

  • Hewlett-Packard, which began in a 12-foot by 18-foot garage at 367 Addison Avenue in Palo Alto, Calif., and grew into a company with nearly 350,000 employees and more than $100 billion a year in revenue.
  • Apple, which assembled some of its first computers in Steve Jobs' parents' garage at 2066 Crist Drive in Los Altos, Calif. Apple now has a market capitalization of more than $600 billion.
  • Google, whose official company history explains that it set up workspace in September 1998 in Susan Wojcicki's garage at 232 Santa Margarita, Menlo Park, Calif.
  • Amazon, which for nearly a year in 1994 and 1995 consisted of founder Jeff Bezos and five employees working in the garage of a Seattle home that Mr. Bezos had rented.
  • Mattel, the toy company that is known for Barbie dolls and Hot Wheels cars and that began in a Southern California garage. Senator Marco Rubio spoke about it in his maiden speech.
  • Lender's Bagels, which began in a West Haven, Conn., garage and grew into a business with tens of millions of dollars in annual sales.

Okay, none of those garage-based startups was in the lending business. But there's no reason that the same kind of garage-style innovation that brought growth and dynamism to the technology, toy, and bagel businesses can't also penetrate into lending.

In fact, it's already quietly happening. Not all loans, after all, need to involve federally insured deposits. Regulations imposed after the 2008 convulsion, particularly the Basel III capital requirements, are making the regulated banks much more reticent to make loans such as revolvers or other lines of credit that are the lifeblood of many operating businesses. Into this void have stepped an array of more lightly regulated players, such as hedge funds and investment partnerships.

Los Angeles-based Ares has what it calls a "private debt group" that says it "provides one-stop financing solutions to meet the distinct and underserved financing needs of small and middle-market companies and commercial project and real estate owners." New York-based Ableco Finance LLC has a "recent transactions" page listing revolving credit facilities, term loans, and bridge loans it has provided for hundreds of millions of dollars.

Funded by individuals, endowments, and pension funds instead of by federally insured bank depositors or the Federal Reserve, these firms and others like them are the "garage guys" of lending. They are a sign of how the lending system is regenerating itself in a free-market way outside of the highly regulated banking system, because the highly regulated form has been so inefficient.

To the argument that lending is more dangerous than toys, bagels, or technology and therefore needs tighter standards, the best response is airlines. What could be more dangerous than a jet plane full of vulnerable passengers who could die in a crash? Yet after the Airline Deregulation Act of 1978, which eventually eliminated the Civil Aeronautics Board, prices went down, traffic increased, and airline accidents and fatalities declined, as Nick Gillespie and Matt Welch write in their book The Declaration of Independents.

In fairness to Mr. Romney, he'd probably be less inclined to impose smothering regulation than Mr. Obama would be. During the debate, Mr. Romney spoke for a long time under a lot of pressure, and overall he did what is widely seen as a pretty good job. But that makes the "garage" line all the more disappointing.

Is it really too much to ask for a major-party presidential candidate who sees garage-based businesses, even in the financial sector, as something to celebrate rather than as something to regulate? If neither the Republicans nor the Democrats get this, eventually some new political party that does understand it may arise on the scene. Maybe it will start in a garage.

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  1. He won the debate, Ira. When was the last time you won a presidential debate, Ira?

    1. Looking at the article’s picture I made an astounding moral discovery.

      The World is skewed to favor ugly people. Wozniak is so f-ing ugly that he had to stay in his garage and use all that “alone” time to invent some really cool nerdy stuff.

  2. Wasn’t the Continental Marine Corps founded in a tavern?

    1. What better place to found the Marines?

  3. The most infuriating moment of the first presidential debate between Mitt Romney and President Obama hasn’t gotten the attention it deserves.

    It hasn’t gotten any attention because all the shitheels in the MSM agreed with him. They’d no more question him on that point than if he had said the sky was blue.

    1. ‘Romney’s false assertion that the sky is blue just goes to show how he will distort the truth on even the simplest matters. Right now, I’m looking out to reddish and golden hues, with only a smattering of blue. Later, of course, it will be black. We cannot have such a fibber in the White House!’

      /Politifact

      1. If you’re going to ding Romney for lies, you might as well use some lies that matter.

        E.G., he’s said that he balanced the MA budget each of his 4 years as gov. Yet the data tells a different story: he increased the MA debt by 52% (and if you increase the debt, you’ve not balanced the budget, you’ve just put the deficit on the backs of our children). He increased debt from $45.2 to $68.5 billion. While the MA constitution requires a balanced budget, this is the debt loophole.

        It appears that Obama and the MSM are so economically illiterate, they don’t even see it. Not only did he increase the debt by 52%, he increased spending by 32%.

        Here’s the backing data:
        http://www.usgovernmentspendin…..g_2002MAbn
        http://www.usgovernmentspendin…..g_2007MAbn

  4. Regulations imposed after the 2008 convulsion, particularly the Basel III capital requirements, are making the regulated banks much more reticent to make loans such as revolvers or other lines of credit that are the lifeblood of many operating businesses.

    I think the word you’re groping for there is “reluctant,” not “reticent” (which means “reluctant to speak”).

    (Yeah, I know: As the result of continual misuse of the word, dictionaries now list “reluctant” as a new meaning for “reticent.” Big effing deal. It’s still as wrong as using “literally” to mean its exact opposite.)

    1. I feel like dictionaries aren’t doing their job when they accept vernacular definitions into the lexicon.

      Oh, well, if most people THINK this word means something besides the established definition, then hell, let’s not tell them they’re stupid and wrong, we’ll just amend our dictionary entry.

      Fantastic.

      1. I could have sworn that ‘egregious’ was only an adverb at one point.

      2. The purpose of a dictionary is to help the user try to understand what a word he heard used, meant. Not to dictate the language to him.

        Would you buy a book that bossed you around instead of helping you?

      3. Hint: Language changes over time. See Awful which used to mean something wonderful, delightful, amazing… it certainly didn’t change overnight or in a vacuum. Usage changes words so you should probably get used to it. Sure you can correct someone but if the dictionary starts listing alternate meanings it means you should probably give it up.

  5. “Ira Stoll on Why Mitt Romney Is Wrong and Garage-Based Businesses Are Great”

    Ken Shultz on Why it Will Never Matter What Mitt Romney is Wrong About So Long as Barack Obama Is President.

    Wouldn’t having a president that’s okay with capitalism–so long as it’s regulated–be better than having a president who is, for all I can tell, entirely hostile to capitalism in all its forms?

    Barack Obama thinks jobs are something the government creates. Barack Obama nationalized GM. Barack Obama squandered $831 billion out of our future paychecks on a stimulus package…

    And we’re dickering with Romney becasue he doesn’t want unregulated banks being run out of people’s garages?

    We need to try to keep things in proportion. Barack Obama squandered $831 billion out of our our future paychecks on stimulus to keep overpaid state employees as overpaid as possible.

    Barack Obama used a chunk of our paychecks to nationalize GM.

    Romney opposed both the stimulus and the nationalization of GM. If we think Romney’s lack of support for running an unregulated bank out of your garage somehow puts him in the same category with Barack Obama, then we need to double check that we haven’t completely lost all sense of proportion.

    1. Ira and Ken are both right.

      1. Ira is beating the shit out of a strawman.

        Romney didn’t say he was against innovation.

        1. Regulation is against innovation. Romney is very pro regulation.

          1. This really is a zero sum game we’re talking about.

            Romney isn’t running in a vacuum.

          2. Depends on the regulation. Some regulations actually create an atmosphere more conducive to innovation. I agree that most regulations are bad for innovation, but there are more important things in the world than innovation.

            1. Not all regulations are bad, like when they are there to create applied specificity to laws that protect the rights of others.

              In a perfect world, all regulations would be created through the courts based on a ruling saying that a business violated a natural right of an individual.

              For instance, you can have a regulation that a business can’t use asbestos because it is harmful to workers. This is just a variation on laws about not poisoning people, but it is specific and was the result of bad stuff that actually happened.

              Rules are not bad. In fact, the right ones are good, and as long as they are universal and predictable, they are what allow the extended order to exist.

              “”Liberty or Freedom is not, as the origin of the name may seem to imply, an exemption from all restraints, but rather the most effectual applications of every just restraint to all members of a free society whether they be magistrates or subjects.” -Adam Ferguson

    2. When you agree with the first $3+ trillion in spending, sorry if I can’t get excited if you oppose only a few hundred more billion (a large portion of the stimulus was tax cuts – and I’m pretty sure Romney was ok with doing some sort of stimulus, though not as expensive as Obama’s)

      1. If you’re suggesting that spending another $831 billion is the same thing as being opposed to spending another $831 billion, then I’m gonna say that’s ridiculous.

        1. Oh, and can somebody tell me, where the fuck is John?

          I spend six years attacking the Republicans, and when I finally come to the Republican nominee’s defense, John is nowhere to be seen?

          It’s like trying to find a cop when you need one.

        2. No, I’m suggesting that agreeing on 90% of federal spending as Obama doesn’t mean you should be lauded. That’s not a high bar to cross. It was not $831 billion, as a large percentage of that was tax cuts, and Romney himself came out in favor of some stimulus spending, on infrastructure and the military for example. And the stimulus was spread out over a few years. When you add that all up, the average difference in annual spending between the two due to stimulus would be less than 10% of the budget. Possibly less than 5%. You don’t deserve credit for being 90-95% of Barack Obama

          1. Who the fuck here is lauding Romney? Certainly not Ken, and not I either.

            1. Ken’s come pretty close, and more to the point, you guys are voting for him. Do you think he gives a fuck that you supposedly think he sucks as long as he gets your vote?

              1. Voting for someone doesn’t mean you laud them.

                If it does, how can principled RP supporters vote for a pro-abortion, pro-gay marriage, pro-open borders candidate like Johnson?

                1. It depends on what principles you’re talking about. I’d have voted for Ron Paul if he were the Republican nominee, and I’m in favor of all those Johnson-held positions. But unlike Romney and Obama, Johnson holding most of the same positions as Paul IS something to give credit over.

    3. http://www.nationalreview.com/…..itt-romney

      Yep, totally opposed the stimulus. 100%.

      1. In that article you linked, what Romney’s referring to as “stimulus” has a lot to do with tax cuts and slashing spending. If that’s what Romney means by “stimulus”, then this libertarian wants more “stimulus”, too.

        This is what Romney wrote–from your link:

        “Cities and states will clamor for government dollars. Like the Big Three automakers, states should first take advantage of the downturn to do some needed cost cutting and restructuring. State employee numbers, pensions, and health-insurance premium sharing ? as well as duplicate and ineffective agencies and programs ? should be high on the hit list. State budgets should be brought in line with those of the most efficient of their comparables. And the federal government should look to ease the burden of mandates on states, like Medicaid.”

        That could have been written by Veronique de Rugy! But that wasn’t what we got from Barack Obama.

        What we actually got for “stimulus” from Barack Obama’s $831 billion dollar bill ended up being all about keeping state budgets as bloated as possible. And my own lying eyes tell me that Romney opposed Obama’s stimulus bill…

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=484aWcQb-1w

        P.S. Yes, Romney opposed the stimulus.

        1. Way to cherry pick Ken. We also have this:

          “On the spending front, infrastructure projects should be a high priority. But because infrastructure projects involve engineering, environmental studies, permitting and contracting, they can take a long time to actually boost the economy. Spending to refurbish and modernize our military equipment is urgently needed, and it has a more immediate impact on the economy. A great deal of our armament was damaged or lost in the Middle East, and the rest is long overdue for maintenance.”

          And this gem:

          “The Fed should continue to expand the money supply. And, it should confirm that it will not tolerate deflation ? the pain of inflation pales in comparison.”

          And again, a large portion of the stimulus was tax cuts. If you’re going to give Romney credit for that, or make the argument elsewhere that tax cuts are not the same as expenditures, then you have to be consistent

          1. I guess you’re gonna have to make it clearer than that…

            Are you saying that Romney was actually in favor of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009?

            ’cause he wasn’t. He was against it.

            1. I’m going to have to disagree, in his interview with Wolf Blitzer in 2009, “I think there is need for economic stimulus. Americans have lost about $11 trillion in net worth. That translates into about $400 billion a year less spending that they’ll be doing, and that’s net of additional government programs like Medicaid and unemployment insurance. And government can help make that up in a very difficult time. And that’s one of the reasons why I think a stimulus program is needed.”

              http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ttn8dnWBQ0Q

              http://www-cgi.cnn.com/TRANSCR…..le.01.html

          2. Think of it this way:

            Apples and oranges both grow in trees.

            Apples and oranges are both considered fruit.

            Apples and oranges both have seeds in the middle.

            But when we want to tell someone they’re comparing two different things? We say they’re comparing apples and oranges.

            Apply that to, say, supporting the Obama stimulus as compared to opposing the Obama stimulus.

            Okay, so, you’re saying Obama’s stimulus had tax cuts in it, too? So what? Romney opposition to the stimulus isn’t the same as Obama’s support of the stimulus.

            They’re not the same thing.

            For instance, I suspect Obama would do the same stimulus again if he could. He goes around and brags about the stimulus. Romney opposed the stimulus in 2009, so there’s reason to believe he’d oppose it again.

            See the difference?

            1. I don’t give a fuck what specific act he did or did not support. I care what policies he supports or supported. And while he opposed the specific act of ARRA, he clearly supported stimulus spending on infrastructure and the military, which also would have had a cost in the hundreds of billions of dollars. The actual spending in ARRA was about $550 billion. So we’re looking at a difference of maybe a few hundred billion spread out over a few years. Not that much in the big picture. Doesn’t mean I don’t think the stimulus was a big waste of money (or that Romney’s stimulus wouldn’t have been either) but that alone isn’t a reason to support a candidate, when they’re perfectly fine with the rest of the $3.5+ trillion budget (not to mention, there’s another candidate who opposed the stimulus, supports far superior policies across the board, and has a record to back it up, but I digress). And as much as you bitch about GM, TARP was far more egregious and expensive, and Romney was all in favor of that. And his VP pick supported the auto bailouts.

              And Romney can say whatever the fuck he wants to when he was comfortably out of office and not running for president at the time. What he would have done in office is anyone’s guess. Mitt Romney doesn’t exactly have a record of being strong-willed, consistent, and principled.

              1. While he opposed the specific act of ARRA, he clearly supported stimulus spending on infrastructure and the military, which also would have had a cost in the hundreds of billions of dollars.

                I don’t see any specific numbers in Romney’s comments that you quoted, but I know Romney opposed Obama’s stimulus.

                Apparently, you’re reading between the lines?

                I wouldn’t have supported any stimulus, but to whatever extent Romney supports stimulus, it doesn’t extend to what Obama did.

                This isn’t like Obama and Bush on TARP. One disagrees with the other.

                “And as much as you bitch about GM, TARP was far more egregious and expensive, and Romney was all in favor of that.”

                You know what the worst part of TARP was?

                It was that they rejected the part of the bill in committee that would have required the government to use the $700 billion TARP money–when it was paid back–to retire the debt they took on to pay for TARP in the first place…

                Where did Romney stand on using the paid back TARP money to pay down the debt?

                When I hear “support for TARP”, I want to make sure I understand what’s being said. There’s a difference between thinking we needed TARP back during the Bush Administration when Lehman failed–on the one hand–and supporting what Obama did with that TARP money after Obama was elected.

                Romney may have thought the cop needed to carry a gun, but that doesn’t mean he condoned the cop using that gun to turn around and rob a bank.

                See the difference?

                1. So I’m supposed to assume the stuff Romney supported would have cost less than $100 billion? The military increases alone that he’s calling for now are more than that, and they probably would have been even higher if “stimulus” was an additional goal.

                  The worst part about TARP was bailing out institutions that should have gone bankrupt. Period. The bank (and by that I mean taxpayers, not the actual banks) was already robbed. Your analogy is terrible. Truly Tulpaesque. And where did Romney stand on that? I don’t know off the top of my head. Do you have a link? You can’t pay down the debt while you’re running a deficit, and personally, I think Obama would have spent the money regardless. He doesn’t need tax revenue to write checks, why would he need TARP money? And the fact is we don’t know how much Romney would have spent had he been president the last four years. I could easily see a scenario where he gives the Dems what they want in exchange for military spending increases and/or tax cuts. And the Republicans care a lot more about limiting spending when a Democrat is in the White House

            2. And federal reserve policy is/has been far more destructive than the stimulus ever could be, and Romney was all for Bernanke cranking up the printing press to avoid the horror of deflation.

              1. If Bernanke were running for election against Obama, I’d be sure to take him to task for federal reserve policy.

                But Obama’s the one running for reelection, so I guess we’ll have to work on getting his ass kicked to the curb.

                1. So you’ll take Bernanke to task, but you won’t take to task a guy who vocally supported his policies? How are we to trust Mitt when it comes to making Fed appointments?

                  1. More selective pragmatism? How unsurprising.

                    We can trust Romney a lot more than we can trust the other guy with a chance of being elected.

                    1. What quote of mine was that directed at? I don’t know what you mean

                      And how do you know that? Romney has certainly earned a reputation as a trustworthy politician. Just the opposite in fact. And I love your term “chance of being elected.” If enough people voted for Gary Johnson, he’d be president, same as Romney or Obama. My vote can’t sway the elections, so why does it matter if one is more likely than the other? Your point about pragmatism rings hollow when your action has no effect on the outcome. And please state your convincing case that Romney will definitely be preferable to Obama. I’ve given a coherent argument multiple times for why it’s inconclusive, could go either way, or at a minimum, that the difference is unimportant in the big picture

                    2. Your point about pragmatism rings hollow when your action has no effect on the outcome.

                      Then quit asking pragmatic questions. You’re asking whether we can trust Mitt to make Fed appointments. That’s a pragmatic question.

                      We can’t trust Johnson to make good Fed appointments because he’s NOT getting elected. Unless and until he breeches 30% in the polls, he has NO chance. There’s a big diff in the bloc swing needed to win when you’re at 47% compared to when you’re at 4%.

                      Your refusal to be convinced does not make my argument any less valid.

                    3. How is that a pragmatic question? It’s a relevant question to determining who’s the best candidate, which is my criteria for voting.

                      “We can’t trust Johnson to make good Fed appointments because he’s NOT getting elected.”

                      And whether Romney does or doesn’t is totally independent of my vote and yours

                      “There’s a big diff in the bloc swing needed to win when you’re at 47% compared to when you’re at 4%.”

                      If you’re the candidate, sure. If you are me or you, why? What’s the practical difference in needing 40 million people to join me versus 4 million? In either case it’s out of my hands. Not to mention, I live in California. Are you saying that all the Romney votes here are wasted? Or all the Obama votes in Texas? If Obama’s up big in the polls in PA on Election Day, will you still vote for Romney?

    4. Give it up, Ken. Reason apparently has a quota they have to fulfill. They had a legitimate attack on BO today so they have to have an attack on MR too, legitimate or not.

      1. The cult of one speaks!

      2. I think there are a disproportionate number of people on staff here who lean Democrat rather than Republican…

        And that’s okay! There’s nothing in the libertarian rule book that says you must favor one party or set of preferences over another. Some people are libertarian more because they oppose the Drug War. Some are libertarian more becasue they oppose socialist economic policies…

        I’m probably more of the latter.

        I see a huge difference between Barack Obama’s outright hostility to capitalism and Romney’s latent statism. They just don’t see that yet. I think they’re still comparing Obama to Bush in subconsciously. There wasn’t much difference between those two, economically. But Romney isn’t Bush.

        He just isn’t.

        1. The GOP has been very disappointing on opposing socialist economic policies, but the Dems have done absolutely nothing to oppose the Drug War, even rhetorically. Anyone who leans Dem because they care about the Drug War more than economics is fooling themselves.

        2. He just isn’t.

          Except for all the policy similarities. Romney’s basic position on stimulus is “We need it, but it needs to be done MY way, not Obama’s way.” Not much of a distinction.

    5. You assume “regulation” is a good thing. It isn’t, it’s a bad thing. We already have laws against theft, fraud, etc. When one person intentionally harms another or their property, it’s already a crime.

      The reason “regulation” exists, is because politicians want to generate campaign cash and favors from industry for the benefit of politicians. Regulations affect company bottom lines, and when politicians propose them, campaign cash flows from those looking for government favors (at our expense) and also from those who want to be left alone by government to serve their customers.

      From http://reason.org/news/show/the-corporation-word
      “Alfred Kahn was a liberal Democrat who, after applying rigorous study to the impact of federal regulation on industry, came to the conclusion that in many cases regulation served to raise prices, blunt innovation, form government-sanctioned industrial cartels, and discriminate against new businesses. The market, not the government, was the most effective tool to discipline big business, because corporations that punished their customers were doomed to failure. In short, Kahn understood that misguided regulation produced exactly what Robert F. Kennedy Jr. claims to despise: big business and government entwined in unholy corporatism.”

      And really, would you deposit your money into a bank run out of a garage?

  6. Incidentally, how does Barack Obama feel about people running banks out of their garages?

    I bet Obama’s more hostile to that than Romney is; in fact, I know from Obama’s behavior that he’s hostile to people running banks on Wall Street! Why wouldn’t he be even more hostile to unregulated banks being run out of people’s homes?

    Again, there’s the question of proportionality. How important is it that Romney is hostile to people running banks out of their garages–compared to Barack Obama being hostile to banks and financial institutions of all shapes and sizes?

    1. Re: Ken Shultz,

      Incidentally, how does Barack Obama feel about people running banks out of their garages?

      See Dodd-Frank for an answer to that question.

    2. It’s a hypothetical anyway, since anyone who would deposit their money with a guy in a garage, without DETAILED information on where the money was going, deserves to lose it. And if they’re conditioning the investment on knowledge of where it’s going, you’re not really talking about a bank anymore.

      1. Good point.

      2. Get a bank charter for your garage bank. Take “deposits” from friends, family, business associates. Offer the highest rate in town to get more. They don’t worry about the risk because your garage bank now has FDIC insurance on their deposits. Now make a risky real estate loan to develop some shitty property, thanks to fractional reserve banking it can be scores of times what has been deposited. If all goes well collect interest and repeat. If it goes south the borrower goes bankrupt and the FDIC takes over your garage and pays off depositors. There is a little more to it than this (loan money to the guy who buys the land, take his “profit” as deposit so you can loan more to the developer, loan to the builder and the chumps who buy the developed property etc, etc) if you want to maximize the haul but it has been repeated countless times only the bank isn’t usually in an actual garage.

  7. Okay, none of those garage-based startups was in the lending business. But there’s no reason that the same kind of garage-style innovation that brought growth and dynamism to the technology, toy, and bagel businesses can’t also penetrate into lending.

    The bankers that control government would disagree with you, Ira. With knee-breaking vehemence, I might add.

    1. It’s not “the bankers that control government.” It’s the politicians who control the FED and the banks via their legislation/regulations.

      The politicians don’t want garage banks, because allowing that competition would lead to competition for those owning/managing banks. And that would result in campaign cash from the big banks to go to other politicians who’d stop the competition.

  8. It’s probably called “Lender’s Bagels” for a reason — I’m pretty sure they’re cutting payday loans under the counter. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

  9. Into this void have stepped an array of more lightly regulated players, such as hedge funds and investment partnerships.

    Or lending circles

  10. Okay, none of those garage-based startups was in the lending business. But there’s no reason that the same kind of garage-style innovation that brought growth and dynamism to the technology, toy, and bagel businesses can’t also penetrate into lending.

    Whoosh! go the goalposts.

    There’s a difference between “garage style innovation” and a business actually operating from a garage. The latter implies a lack of available capital, which is fine for a company making physical widgets, not fine for a company whose business is providing capital.

    Los Angeles-based Ares has what it calls a “private debt group” that says it “provides one-stop financing solutions to meet the distinct and underserved financing needs of small and middle-market companies and commercial project and real estate owners.” New York-based Ableco Finance LLC has a “recent transactions” page listing revolving credit facilities, term loans, and bridge loans it has provided for hundreds of millions of dollars.

    Do they operate out of garages? No. So STFU, Romney wasn’t talking about them.

    1. implies a lack of available capital…not fine for a company whose business is providing capital.

      Sometimes it’s necessary to state the obvious.

    2. What if the garage gets converted to a home office with a garage door? Then is it OK to run financial operations out of it? If you toss in a potted fern? How about if you take out the garage door? 2 ferns and a water cooler?

      1. I don’t think the blueprints of the building is the standard here. The standard is whether the entity in question has sufficient liquid assets to honor promises of withdrawal availability after making loans. Operating out of a garage makes that very dubious.

    3. Whoosh! go the goalposts.

      Saying that one policy position implies a similar policy position is not goal-post moving. *Whoosh* Here’s Ira’s point going over your head!

      1. It’s not a similar policy position.

        Saying you don’t want people operating banks out of garages does not imply you want to ban computer manufacturers from starting in garages or bring back CAB. It’s a total strawman.

        1. It’s not a similar policy position.

          Regulatory policy A that stifles innovation compared to possible regulatory policy B that stifles innovation. The form of the regulation isn’t the point.

          does not imply you want to ban computer manufacturers from starting in garages or bring back CAB

          Did he say what form it would take? I think that criticizing the man’s stance concerning regulations is legitimate.

  11. To the argument that lending is more dangerous than toys, bagels, or technology and therefore needs tighter standards, the best response is airlines. What could be more dangerous than a jet plane full of vulnerable passengers who could die in a crash? Yet after the Airline Deregulation Act of 1978, which eventually eliminated the Civil Aeronautics Board, prices went down, traffic increased, and airline accidents and fatalities declined

    Airlines are still regulated wrt safety, Mr Stoll. Ever heard of the FAA? Maybe you should have spent some time on research — 30 seconds probably would have been sufficient — before making such a moronic claim. The safety record has absolutely NOTHING to do with the elimination of CAB. Prices going down and service going up are another matter, but those have nothing to do with SAFETY regulations.

  12. Exhibit #327 of Reason publishing moronic attacks against Romney in an effort to provide “balance”. They published an article about Obama’s drone program killing US citizens today, so now they have to balance it out with an article about how if you jumble the words in something Romney said during the debate, it sounds like an anti-liberty statement.

    1. The words came out of Romney’s mouth and they prove that Romney is hostile to the very concept free markets, no matter how much he promises otherwise and heralds free markets. Romney is a total liar and will bring free marketers down with him when his regulatory state policies backfire, just like Bush did.

      But instead we should have criticized Obama even harder for the words that didn’t come out of his mouth but we know in his heart be really believes? Hmm, should we pick the honest unfree market candidate or the dishonest unfree market candidate?

      1. I seriously doubt even Ron Paul is for deregulating banking to the extent that someone could run a bank out of a garage.

        1. And you’re proof of that is?

          1. *your

          2. I don’t need proof, I just communicated a doubt.

            1. And all the evidence points to the conclusion that he would be ok with that

        2. Surely if Ron Paul believes competing currencies can be printed out of one’s garage, they could also be issued or lent out of one’s garage?

          1. In the RP hypothetical there, any successful currency would need to be backed by something. Anybody can print out little pieces of paper, but the question is is anyone going to assign a value to it.

            1. But he wouldn’t support the government outlawing it

              1. He would probably support the government saying they couldn’t take people’s money and claim to be a bank where deposits were safe.

                If they’re taking people’s money and saying they’re going to invest it for them and share the returns, that’s OK, but then you’re not talking about a bank.

                1. He would probably support the government saying they couldn’t take people’s money and claim to be a bank where deposits were safe.

                  How do you know? If I for some reason want to put my money in the safe at the neighbors home “bank” and trust him to invest it while giving me interest and we contract on terms of withdrawal, how in any way is that the government’s business? How can you say my money obviously isn’t safe when you have no idea what my neighbor’s financial situation is, when you don’t know the terms of our contract and relationship, etc. Banking is a contractual action, and there is little to no need for government to be involved until it results in fraud, theft or breach of contract.

    2. Exhibit #327 of Reason publishing moronic attacks against Romney in an effort to provide “balance”.

      Yes, I’m sure the Reason writers coordinate their topics in a massive conspiracy to convince you us that the two parties are exactly the same.

      1. If the parties were the same they would be able to run as many intelligent criticisms of Romney as they do of Obama. Sadly, it doesn’t seem to be the case, so there’s a lot of bizarre criticisms mixed in like so much Tide in cocaine.

        1. If the parties were the same they would be able to run as many intelligent criticisms of Romney as they do of Obama.

          Your complaints almost entirely consist of rants about how they criticize Romney more than Obama. NOW you complain that they’re criticizing them equally. Quite a progression there.

  13. Peter Schiff on garage lending; skip to the 12:45 mark
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v…..ature=plcp

  14. God forbid anyone start an unregulated microloan bank out of their own house! I heard they do that sort of thing in third world countries, and that’s probably why those countries are poor.

    1. Actually, I think most people who start a business initially raise the money from “friends and family”.

      The guy down the street opening up a pizza joint, or the lady down the street opening up a nail salon–they aren’t going to an investment bank.

      Even if you’re going to a bank for a loan, the bank wants so much equity in first, and that equity is being borrowed from friends and family…

      Thing is? Romney was an equity guy. He knows this. I think he was being especially sensitive about being labeled a Wall Street guy, who doesn’t approve of regulation…you know how the Obama people are always accusing the Republicans of being libertarians?

      Romney apparently wanted people to know he favors regulating banks. Anybody who thinks that makes him the same as Obama is out of their freaking minds.

      1. They agree on far more than they disagree Ken. That’s the point you’re missing. Instead of supporting someone who’s going to actively attack my liberties for the next four years, I’m going to vote for someone who would actually try to stop current infringements on those liberties. Not to mention, it’s not as if my vote could decide the election in any case, even if I didn’t live in California

      2. I think he was being especially sensitive about being labeled a Wall Street guy, who doesn’t approve of regulation

        Since when did Wall Street not approve of regulation? Romney should know full well that regulation will enrich Wall Street at the expense of smaller competitors. That’s probably why he supports it.

        1. The rap on Romney (and all Republicans) is that they’re anarchists or libertarians…

          Well, they don’t use the words “anarchist” or “libertarian”. They say, well you guys all use the roads! How can you be against the government?

          …as if Romney or insert whatever Republican were a libertarian.

          Romney is sensitive to that criticism, and I think he was saying that he’s not against regulation for that reason.

          I’m mean, c’mon! The guy’s not a libertarian. I know that. Was anyone else confused on the issue?

          …but he’s a lot better than Obama. There’s a whole world of spectrum between worse than Gary Johnson and MUCH better than Barack Obama. So, why should someone being in favor of regulating banks somehow him from being on that spectrum somewhere?

          1. So, why should someone being in favor of regulating banks somehow [disqualify] him from being on that spectrum somewhere?

          2. Mitt Romney is MUCH closer on the spectrum to Barack Obama than he is to Gary Johnson. And as Johnson is superior to Romney, why aren’t you voting for him? It’s not like your vote is going to change anything. Why didn’t you support Paul in the primary? Oh yeah, I remember, that was back when you were too principled to vote for anyone. Now you’ll throw your vote at the first guy with fake hair and a fake smile who says a few nice things about capitalism

            1. If voting is pointless, why are you so adamant that we vote for Johnson?

              Why not stay home? Why not write in Ron Paul?

              1. Go ahead Tulpa. I totally understand if you stay home. Or if you write in Ron Paul. My belief is that if you’re going to vote you should vote for the best person running. If Ron Paul was running, I’d vote for him, but I understand if people wanna write him in. I also understand if people don’t wanna vote. I know my vote won’t change anything. But I’ll vote to express my views on the state of our country and to do my part in fixing it. I have no control over whether other people join me and neither do you

                1. WHO THE FUCK ARE YOU TO TELL ME WHAT TO DO WITH MY VOTE?!!!!!!!!!

                  1. Are you fucking kidding me Tulpa? This is coming from you? Seriously go fuck yourself you piece of shit. Half the time you spend on this board is trying to convince people to vote for Romney. I specifically said I don’t care if you vote for Ron Paul, or if you stay home, or vote for Gary Johnson. Fuck, I don’t care if you vote for Mitt Romney. It’s not going to change anything. My problem is your view that by voting for Mitt you’re being pragmatic and acting as if you’re actually affecting anything, and your constant lecturing of everyone else about how unpragmatic we are.

              2. Because voting for the LP moves them closer to automatic ballot access, and the more votes they get, the more they send a message to the establishment. If you think Johnson is the best candidate, there’s no reason not to vote for him, since your Romney or Obama vote won’t decide the election anyway.

                1. LP is nowhere near auto ballot access. And the establishment doesn’t give a shit whether Johnson gets 2% or 1%. They know they can never get those votes and neither can their opponents.

                  1. If Johnson gets even 5%, that would certainly qualify them in a bunch of states and beating the margin of difference between the candidates will result in the “libertarian spoiler” discussion and would push the GOP even more towards Rand Paul in 2016 to stave off the possibility of it happening again.

            2. And as Johnson is superior to Romney, why aren’t you voting for him?

              Because there is no improvement in economic policy possible so long as every piece of legislation that gets passed has to be signed by Barack Obama.

              Because our imperial presidency has become so powerful that president Obama can do an awful lot of damage without ever consulting Congress.

              Capitalism and markets are incredibly powerful. Things may improve despite Obama being in the White House, but it won’t be because of our economic policies. Our economic policy can never improve–while Obama is in office…

              And voting for Johnson does absolutely nothing to address that.

              A protest vote for Johnson won’t influence a defeated Romney. A protest vote for Johnson won’t influence a triumphant Obama. If the biggest threat to our individual rights today is the president of the United States, then why the hell would I vote for a protest candidate when I can vote for someone who might actually kick him to the curb?

              I mean, how bad does the president have to get before–instead of protesting his opponent–you actually vote to replace him?

              1. How bad does it have to get?

                How many more industrial giants does Barack Obama have to nationalize before you’ll use your vote to get rid of him?

                3?

                7?

                50?

                He’s proud of what he did! He’s going around bragging about it. He’ll do it again if we let him.

                1. I am voting to get rid of you him you disingenuous cunt (and the only reason I use that word is because I know how butthurt you get about it). It’s not my fault more people are voting for Giant Douche #2 instead

                  1. You seem to be taking these attacks on Obama very personally.

                    Like I said elsewhere, feel free to prefer one candidate to another on other issues. Maybe you’re gay or something, and you resent Romney for being in favor of discriminating against you?

                    If you’re against Romney for other reasons, then make that case on its own terms. But pretending that Obama is somehow the same as Romney on economic issues just doesn’t hold water.

                    1. This is what I’m talking about Ken. Where the fuck have I said Obama is preferable to Romney? I’ve been promoting Johnson this entire time and now I’m an Obama supporter? Did John hijack your handle or something? And I didn’t take it personal. The only reason I called you a cunt is because I know you throw a hissy fit about it.

                      “If you’re against Romney for other reasons, then make that case on its own terms. But pretending that Obama is somehow the same as Romney on economic issues just doesn’t hold water.”

                      I didn’t say the same. I said there’s no meaningful difference in the big picture. You can cite specific examples, but all of those are small potatoes in the end. Furthermore, I’ve argued that the difference isn’t clearcut for a couple reasons: 1) Romney wants to increase military spending far more than Obama does 2) It’s very plausible that Romney would compromise with Democrats by giving them what they want on domestic spending in exchange for more military spending 3)This doesn’t even account for the higher likelihood of a war wit Iran (and/or other countries) under Romney. Not that it’s not possible/likely under Obama, but it’s almost a certainty under Romney and he would fight it with more vigor than Obama. This has economic and fiscal, as well as human, costs. 4) Congressional Republicans care more about spending when a Democrat is in the White House.

                    2. Add all of these up, and it’s not ridiculous to think that spending would be higher under Romney than Obama. The problem with Obama hasn’t been massive annual increases in spending. It’s been a massive spike in spending that hasn’t dropped back to normal levels. Romney has given zero indication that he would reverse that

              2. How is Romney going to improve economic policy? By increasing spending? By increasing regulation (don’t tell me you actually think there will be less regulation when he leaves office)? By supporting the Fed’s inflationary policy, that causes/exacerbates business cycles and destroys the value of our dollar? By starting a trade war with China? By starting an actual war with Iran, that will have major economic, as well as human, costs? At best you can say he’ll make economic policy worse at a slower rate than Obama would. Sorry, but I’d rather vote for the guy who would actually improve things.

                My vote for Johnson is not a protest vote. I’m voting for the best candidate. You completely failed to address my central point; your vote will not affect the outcome of the election in anyway. It doesn’t matter who you and I vote for. Whether Romney or Obama wins is independent of our actions. If enough people join you in voting for Romney, he’ll win. If enough people joined me in voting for Johnson, he’d win. In either case, we have no control over it, so why does it matter what the odds are of each occurring? Those outcomes are still independent of our actions. You also fail to address my point about your hypocrisy. Why didn’t you set aside your principled non-voting philosophy during the primaries, when there was a candidate running for a major party nomination that would actually make significant improvements, instead of make things worse at a slower rate?

                1. The problem I have with your arguments, here and elsewhere, is that you keep jumping back and forth between idealism and pragmatism. Pick one framework and stick with it.

                  If you’re saying “you should vote for the candidate you agree with” that’s an idealistic stance. Fine. But don’t start ripping Romney over pragmatic concerns in the next breath. Johnson isn’t going to improve economic policy either because he isn’t going to be elected. If you want to be pragmatic, vote for the viable candidate you think will produce the best outcome.

                  1. Tulpa, if other people are basing their vote on pragmatic reasons, why shouldn’t I be allowed to show them that even in a pragmatic context, they’re mistaken? All I’m doing is pointing out the logical error in your justifications, even on your own terms. You guys make the pragmatic arguments, and I’m refuting them using pragmatic arguments, because you obviously won’t be convinced by idealist arguments, and besides, it wouldn’t be much fun if we just went back and forth screaming “Pragmatism!” “Idealism!” etc. That’s like saying libertarians can’t use utilitarian arguments to convince others of the error of their ways, because libertarianism is (for most) a moral philosophy based on non-aggression. And to refute your last point, that pragmatism assumes your vote affects the outcome of the election. Which it won’t

                    1. Except you’re not really addressing the pragmatic context. You’re comparing Romney’s likely behavior to Johnson’s, rather than Romney’s to Obama’s.

                    2. And then when someone (usually me) says that, even though he’s not perfect, Romney’s better than Obama, you switch back to being an idealist and say the lesser of two evils is still an evil. You’re not making a pragmatic argument against Romney and sticking with it, you just switch back and forth to whichever viewpoint favors Johnson at the moment.

                    3. Our economic policy can never improve–while Obama is in office…

                      Because our imperial presidency has become so powerful that president Obama can do an awful lot of damage without ever consulting Congress.

                      Our economic policy can never improve–while Obama is in office…

                      And Romney will change jack shit about that.

                    4. Except you’re not really addressing the pragmatic context. You’re comparing Romney’s likely behavior to Johnson’s, rather than Romney’s to Obama’s.

                      And finding that they’re almost identical, hence Johnson. If you REALLY believe that voting for Romney will change things in a meaningful way, you’re delusional.

                      Romney’s better than Obama, you switch back to being an idealist and say the lesser of two evils is still an evil.

                      Have you ever thought that we’re NOT “switching”, Tulpa? Do you really believe all decisions have to be PURELY pragmatic OR idealist, not a mix of the two? I’m voting for Johnson because Obama sucks, Romney sucks, and either way we can survive 4 more years of suck. But I, unlike YOU, want more than just base political survival. I want progress toward libertarian governance, and that’s not going to happen by continuing to vote for a piece of shit just because they seem better than the guy before them, only to vote for the NEXT piece of shit 4 years later because the LAST piece of shit you voted for fucked up the nation too.

                      If Romney wins, you know what changes in the long run? FUCK. ALL.

                    5. Do you really believe all decisions have to be PURELY pragmatic OR idealist, not a mix of the two?

                      Yes. If you’re pursuing a coherent goal, it is either idealistic or pragmatic. Not both.

                      I’m OK with arguing for idealism, and then ending that argument, and starting a new argument for pragmatism, so long as the arguments are kept separate. it’s the switching back and forth mid-argument that’s a problem. Case in point: the endless arguing that 1 vote doesn’t matter so you should vote for the one you agree with (idealism), paired with an argument that RP supporters shouldn’t write him in but should vote for Johnson because their 1 vote can give the LP ballot access (pragmatism).

                    6. Yes. If you’re pursuing a coherent goal, it is either idealistic or pragmatic. Not both.

                      If I want to do it morally, I do. And I don’t think they’re incompatible. Progress toward my idea of a better society is entirely compatible with my voting strategy. That you don’t agree with it doesn’t mean anything.

                    7. I’m OK with arguing for idealism, and then ending that argument, and starting a new argument for pragmatism, so long as the arguments are kept separate.

                      And that’s where you fail. I take a pragmatic approach to my ideals. If I do something, it’s because I think it’s a meaningful step toward my goals. My goals may be “idealistic”, but I’m no dreamer. I don’t dream that simply voting for shit every 4 years will change anything. I also don’t dream that my vote this year will make a meaningful difference in this election. I’m in this for the long haul.

                      Case in point: the endless arguing that 1 vote doesn’t matter so you should vote for the one you agree with (idealism), paired with an argument that RP supporters shouldn’t write him in but should vote for Johnson because their 1 vote can give the LP ballot access (pragmatism).

                      His argument is that our votes don’t matter for this election (which I agree with), so vote for the guy who’s results will help get more momentum for our ideals in the future. It won’t matter this election if Gary Johnson get’s more than 1% of the vote, but it will matter for garnering future support.

                    8. And Romney will change jack shit about that.

                      If Congress passes something sensible, I think Romney will sign it.

                      I think Obama will refuse to sign anything sensible.

                      What I see as sensible, Obama sees as extreme.

                    9. Tulpa you’re conflating two arguments. I’m voting for Johnson because he’s the best candidate running. Period. When you counter-argue that he has no chance of winning, and therefore I should vote for Romney, I point out that since my vote has no chance of changing anything, that your argument doesn’t hold water. That’s not me being inconsistent. That’s me pointing out the holes in your logic.

                      The other argument is the notion that Romney is clearly far superior to Obama. I think there are good reasons to think why this might not be the case. We don’t elect people in a vacuum. They’re not dictators. I’ve explained why it’s possible that Romney will spend more than Obama would, or that at the very least, the difference is likely to be negligible. And that doesn’t account for other areas of policy where he could be worse. I’m not saying Obama is preferable to Romney. I’m just saying it’s not as clear cut as people say it is. You can’t judge politicians solely by their words, especially these two guys. You have to look at their records in conjunction with their proposals, and then evaluate the political context they will be in to guess what they would do

              3. The past year and a half has been relatively ok, as not much has passed the divided GOP House and Democratic Senate to even get to the President. I’m frankly more concerned about Romney as commander in chief than I am about Obama as bill rubber stamper.

  15. Considering a bank is much more likely to be robbed than an electronics start-up, I think most people wouldn’t want a bank in their home. So it’s probably moot.

  16. It’s getting to the point where Reason can’t even print an article criticizing Romney without incessant bitching from the Usual Suspects

    1. Come on, Cali. You can say it: Tulpa is an unbearable little bitch. Still. Although Tony has really raised the bar high for unbearable bitch-ness lately.

      1. He’s the biggest one, but there are others, most notably Ken Shultz as of late. He bothers me the most, because of his holier-than-thou attitude about how he “wouldn’t even vote for a libertarian emperor” that he had during the whole election season (I’ve been lurking here for less than a year, so I’m not sure what he was like before that), to justify why he didn’t vote for Paul or Johnson, and then the last few weeks that all went out the window and now he’s a Tulpaesque Romney fanboy

      2. It’s unfortunate that you consider fact-checking to be unbearable bitchiness.

        1. It’s unfortunate that you consider fact-checking to be unbearable bitchiness.

          It’s unfortunate you don’t recognize whining about the article ratio to be unbearable bitchiness.

          1. Every time I question the article selection I make an argument to justify my position that the article is flawed. As I did here, though unfortunately Team Yellow didn’t want to play that game, preferring the “pin the tail on the Team Red Shill” or whatever they’re calling it these days.

            We should have an experiment one of these days where all the comments post without a name. Half the commenters would have no clue how to make their case, since the ad homs have become de rigeur for so many of us. Hence EpiWart’s obsession with whether this handle or that belongs to Joe From Lowell, or White Indian, or Shrike, or some other despised commenter from ages past. Who cares if it is?! Deal with the argument, not the person. If the person really is a shill it should be easy to refute their argument. If it’s not easy, then maybe it’s a good argument.

            1. Every time I question the article selection I make an argument to justify my position that the article is flawed.

              Sometimes I agree with your criticism. Your comment about the airline regulations was correct, for instance. But more often than not, I think you’re wrong.

    2. Followed by the bitching from the Usual Suspects about any criticism of the Romney-criticism.

      Is any post other than “Yes, Ira Stoll, Romney sucks hur hurr hur!” acceptable to you?

      Do you think my points of criticism of the article are incorrect? If so, explain how. You didn’t even bother responding to my criticisms, rather you hide away from my comment and lament how Reason can’t post an unfounded anti-Romney article without being fact-checked. How dare I point out that airlines are still regulated in safety matters!

      1. Was my point about this article Tulpa? No. If you only did this in certain instances, you’d have a point. You don’t. You bitch and moan every time Reason prints an article critical of Romney

        1. Bullshit. Is spreading falsehoods about people consistent with these principles you keep talking about?

          The only time I’m critical is when the article is either a stupid criticism of Romney (like this one, Suderman’s idiocy about state-level MassCare being just as bad as ObamaCare, etc) or beating a dead horse (like the 20 articles probing every possible negative interpretation of the 47% remark). There have been plenty of times I’ve agreed with the criticism. Though I always do remind people that he’s better than the alternative in those cases. I hope I’m allowed to do that without becoming TEAM RED SHILL.

          1. Reason can post whatever the fuck they want about Obama without any concern of anyone, except Tony or one of the resident liberals, criticizing them for it. It’s very rare that they publish an article critical of Romney (even if they also criticize Obama in the same article) without you and/or someone else (John, Ken Shultz, etc) criticizing them, calling them Cosmotarians, Team Orange/Yellow, etc. And you know damn well that’s true

            1. There have been quite a few critical articles on Romney that I have agreed with Reason on. Usually wrt foreign policy. I also agreed with the first couple of articles questioning the wisdom of his 47% comment. But then it became a dead horse beating contest and I got sick of it.

              And maybe the fact that they get railed by seasoned commenters in most of their anti-Romney articles indicates those articles really are low quality, compared to the anti-Obama ones. Ken Shultz in particular has never been a friend of the GOP, even in recent times. He’s defended quite a few actions of the BO that were unpopular around here, in particular the Libya KMA. To pass him off as a GOP shill is even less defensible than making the same false accusation against me.

              You still haven’t dealt with my argument against this piece, of course. If there weren’t names attached to the comments you would have nothing to talk about. That’s not a good sign for your arguments.

              1. But then it became a dead horse beating contest and I got sick of it.

                Boohoo, poor baby. Is mean ol’ Reason being nasty to the guy they HAVEN’T been criticizing for 4 straight years?

                And maybe the fact that they get railed by seasoned commenters in most of their anti-Romney articles

                Whining about how there are two many articles criticizing Romney and not enough about Obama doesn’t really count.

                To pass him off as a GOP shill

                Except we’re not. Acting just like you in regards to Romney articles seems to be legitimate to me.

                You still haven’t dealt with my argument against this piece, of course.

                I’m pretty sure his criticisms about you here pertain to your incessant whining, not your few comments about the actual content of the article.

                1. Ah, so anyone who thinks a criticism of Romney is flawed must be a GOP shill. Got it.

                  You guys are real individual thinkers. No groupthink here, nope.

                  1. Ah, so anyone who thinks a criticism of Romney is flawed must be a GOP shill. Got it.

                    Stuff like this is why we’re so convinced you argue dishonestly. I NEVER said that “anyone who thinks a criticism of Romney is flawed must be a GOP shill.” You don’t make one substantial criticism of my post here, you just try to put words in my mouth.

  17. Didn’t Frank Costanza start a computer business, inspired by ‘The Net,’ from his garage?

    Lloyd had more sales than George.

  18. A bank is a business
    You can’t have people opening banks in their garage
    Thus you can’t have people opening businesses in their garages.

    Yeah…that’s it.

    1. A whale is a mammal.
      A whale can’t survive on land.
      Thus mammals can’t survive on land.

  19. “You couldn’t have people opening up banks in their ? in their garage and making loans.”

    Bank me, Amadeo: we set the WABAC Machine to the San Francisco of the 1906 earthquake, where Amadeo Gianinni, having in a converted saloon two years before founded the Bank of Italy to serve workers of good character denied by the prevailing banks of the rich, stepped in where the other firestormed banks could not and on a makeshift desk set up from a plank suspended across two barrels, and with the aid of a borrowed horse-drawn garbage truck under whose heaps of refuse he hid the money he then hauled the 18 miles to his house in then-rural San Mateo, expanded what would become the Bank of America.

    Banks were banks in those days.

  20. Fuck the banks. Fuck Romney. “Garage-based” lenders already exist.

    Kiva, Kickstarter, Zidisha, Wokai. These are the lenders of the new generation.

    …So long as assholes like Mitt Romney don’t realize they exist.

  21. BANKS, you moron! Romney was talking about BANKS. How is it that someone this uncritical is writing for Reason.com? During the debate they were talking about banking reform and regulations. Mitt made the point that regulations are needed to a certain degree, “You couldn’t have people opening up banks in their ? in their garage and making loans.”

    Boy, that makes a whole lot more sense, doesn’t it? Where you go from there to attempting to make a case like, “Mitt Romney hates Steve Jobs’ path to success” is beyond Reason.

    So there you go. Ira Stoll is beyond Reason and should be forever banned from writing on this site.

    1. Yeah, he mentions that Romney was talking about banks. He also mentions that a regulatory bias against starting businesses out of unusual places (e.g. a garage) could help stifle innovation period, not just banking innovation.

  22. That sound you heard during the debate was the echo of me ripping my hair out while throwing my drink at the television in frustration at the idea of a Republican presidential nominee who portrays himself as the defender of free markets yet who also describes garage-based businesses as a grave danger that must be regulated out of existence.

    How did you even have any hair left to rip out, then?

  23. I had the exact same reaction when I watched the debates. My initial thought was, ‘What a coward,’ and I stormed out of the room.

  24. Emily Latella straw man argument. Romney talked about garage based banks. The author morphs this into garage based businesses. See the tiny difference between the two? Sheesh.

  25. Barbies and bands are a lot different than banks.

  26. I strongly doubt that Mr Romney has anything against garage-based businesses. Considering his background in private equity, we can assume that he adors entrepreneurs. The man has to win over the undecideds who (still) don’t know if they should vote again for the disaster currently inhabiting the White House. He won’t achieve that by attempting to explain the finer points of the Libertarian philosophy.

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