You Fail, We All Fail10.27.09
This is exactly the sort of thing we should expect from the Obama Administration. He’s been preaching it since he started running for office: accountability.
And now he and Rep. Barney Frank plan to require that very culpability from the financial industry in a very unique way. Essentially, if a firm gets too big for its britches and ends up on the edge of collapse – you know, like Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, AIG, Lehman Brothers, etc. – the government could intervene at the cost of the corporation’s competitors. Not the taxpayers.
Think of it like when you were in school and you were put into groups to work on a project and everyone got the same grade. You fail, we all fail. It was sold to us as a way to have the stronger students help along the kids who weren’t grasping the material as well. I know that I hated it because, as a good student, it just meant I had to work extra hard to pick up the slack to ensure I got a good grade. But, it was worth it to me to do someone else’s work to be sure that I earned the marks I received. I wasn’t going to let one slacker ruin it for the rest of us. And, it was an invaluable lesson to learn: our actions affect those of others in our team. And, in this case, in an odd way, all of the competing firms on Wall Street are on the same team: the team of running our economy. If one of you cheats, you all pay the price. Because if not, the game is over, the economy collapses.
I remember when I was in high school and my parents always warning me to be careful who I hung out with because even if I wasn’t doing drugs, I could get in trouble if I was with kids who were. Guilty by association. Funny how all of these life lessons we learn growing up just get tossed out the window when it comes to financial firms.
I hope the bill passes. This is the kind of change that Obama was elected to do.