Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Obama's New Consumer Financial "Protection" Agency

Everything that Obama has done from Day One has been an attack on Americans' ability to hold onto a little money, whether it is a dime tax on every can of soda, bigger energy bills, requiring Americans to chip in for other people's pensions (GM takeover), new foreign cars (Cash for Clunkers) and homes (2009 tax write-off for homebuyers), or that hard-to-ignore $787 billion stimulus package that's mostly stimulated the printing of unemployment checks.

But all that's just Obama's pre-game warm-up.

Yesterday the president announced his latest plan for another brand new, big-government agency, the "Consumer Financial Protection Agency." And, in the Obama version of double-speak, double think, it's all to protect little ol' consumers like you and me. Sort of like H.R. 3200, "America's Affordable Health Choices Act of 2009," is meant to give your grandparents, injured vets, and disabled kids "more affordable" health care choices.

As in "less is more."

From Nile Gardiner in the UK Telegraph:

In his speech to Wall Street bankers this morning on the first anniversary of Lehman Brothers’ collapse, the president unveiled his ambitious new proposal for a grand Consumer Financial Protection Agency to enforce “the most ambitious overhaul of the financial system since the Great Depression.”

This new government goliath, which smacks of EU-style state interventionism, is apparently necessary because those capitalist Gordon Gekko wannabes on Wall Street simply aren’t listening to the White House, and are daring to create wealth and - heaven forbid - profits, in the ashes of last year’s banking collapse. As Obama put it angrily in his speech at Federal Hall:

“Unfortunately, there are some in the financial industry who are misreading this moment. Instead of learning the lessons of Lehman and the crisis from which we’re still recovering, they’re choosing to ignore those lessons. I’m convinced they do so not just at their own peril, but at our nation’s. So I want everybody here to hear my words: We will not go back to the days of reckless behavior and unchecked excess that was at the heart of this crisis, where too many were motivated only by the appetite for quick kills and bloated bonuses. Those on Wall Street cannot resume taking risks without regard for consequences, and expect that next time, American taxpayers will be there to break their fall.”

And we thought Slick Willy was pretty slick! Obama managed to get through an entire description of last fall's financial meltdown without even mentioning its root cause, mortgages for the uncredit-worthy, backed by the U.S. Treasury and rammed down bankers' throats by ACORN,who recently have been shown to be quite conversant with methods of procuring affordable homes for hard-working pimps, prostitutes, and child sex slaves, at taxpayer expense.

Gardiner continues:

Setting up a mammoth new federal bureaucracy is not the solution and is based on the premise that government knows best. It doesn’t. As the massive $787 billion stimulus spending bonanza has shown, the greatest beneficiaries of government intervention in the economy have been the unemployment rolls - now standing at nearly 10 percent of the workforce - and the national debt, which has reached a staggering $12 trillion.

But the worst is yet to come. After socialization of GM and Chrysler drove a big chunk of the U.S. auto manufacturing overseas, an Obama "remake" of the U.S. financial system will drive investment elsewhere, creating in the wake of the rush out of the U.S., even more job losses.

The biggest winner from Obama’s proposal will not be Wall Street. Any talk of increasing government control of the financial services sector is a job killer, and will drive investment overseas. It will be far less regulated markets such as Singapore and Hong Kong that will gain from an exodus of US capital.

The City of London could also emerge a major beneficiary from the new banking proposals. If the next British government, almost certainly a Conservative administration, opts for light but sensible regulation of financial markets and hedge funds for example, the UK will gain a significant competitive advantage over New York as well as further strengthen its lead position over European rivals such as Frankfurt and Paris.

Kill more jobs, drive away more investors. Obama's quite the leader. But who wants to go where he's leading?

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