I just canceled my subscription to the New York Times. I did it for two reasons. First, I’m cutting back on every possible expense following the melt down in the equity markets, and second it seems foolish to support an institution whose editorial policy is hell bent on further reducing what’s left of my assets. They are not doing it directly of course, no Times reporter has shown up at my door with a gun, badge and warrant demanding cash, but every day they are at it indirectly through calls for vast regulation and control of Wall Street.
While I will not miss the Times’ “anything those men are doing must be wrong” news coverage I will miss David Brooks’ column, the one bright ray in an otherwise tainted and bitter institution.
This week Brooks wrote about the near impossibility of government regulators anticipating a banking crisis like the one we are going through, even with advanced tools like counter cyclical reserving and microscopic ALM transparency.
I believe he is right, but given that the media has been driven into a psychotic incoherent rage, first over the popularity of Sara Palin (“How, How! HOW! could those those Republicans have a popular woman candidate!!!! How dare they! We had our own media created farce, and now they have one that’s better! Bastards!”) and then by the incomprehensibility of a credit crunch they really don’t understand but are absolutely convinced was done deliberately by people richer than they, to this there will be only one tolerable response: Criminalize more behavior.
That’s what regulation is, right?: Define certain activities as worthy of state sponsored sanction and damn it, just jail the greedy bankers, whomever they might be.