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Old 10-06-2014, 10:54 PM   #21
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Bernie Madoff complained that the young regulators sent in to audit him would drop their resumes off at his receptionist's desk on their way out. That's called "Regulatory Capture", that's when the government oversight department/agency that is tasked to oversee and punish becomes the towel boys to that company/industry.
I just spent 5 years as a regulatory footsoldier. I landed in that role because my hedge fund employer blew up 6 weeks before Lehman imploded and the agency was about the only place hiring people like me. I came in at a lowly title compared to the career drones who were there long term, and I made a fraction of my former total comp. I tried hard to do the right thing. If I saw something wrong I was zealous in documenting it and calling out the firm in question. I caught a firm lying to me 3 or 4 times and nailed them for it. I was specifically asked for when something started to smell bad because I was pretty blunt about rooting it out and I am relatively hard to fool.

OTOH, I was very frustrated when the firms that did the right thing, walked away from all the stupid and dangerous loans, got whacked by equity analysts for doing so, and lived to dance n the graves of their more foolish competitors were treated by my agency just like the idiots who made the bad loans, looked the other way when they should have been paying attention, and subsequently failed (or would have without a taxpayer bailout). I got sick of watching the better connected firms get more wiggle room than the careful but not so well connected. I got mortally sick of the requirement to follow stupid, pointless rules regardless of what was going on in the real world/economy. I watched the most clueless, useless human beings get promoted to officer level positions in my agency simply because they were there long enough and bowed and scraped to the right people.

I was very, very happy to get to the 5 year mark, vest in retirement stuff, and get the hell out. If I were not FI, I would have turned around and offered my services to the very type of firms I regulated. Why not? They pay the best. I would be doing nothing illegal, just capitalizing on my accumulated knowledge the same as any other veteran in most fields. As it happens, after 9 months on the beach I am now consulting for a regulated entity that needs help correcting a problem made up by their principal regulator. I was approached rather than the other way around, so I extracted a premium pay rate. I just got called by one of the firms I used to regulate and within 5 minutes they bluntly stated they wanted to hire me as a consultant. Guess what? This otherwise very healthy, well run, well capitalized and highly ethical firm needs help dealing with a problem made up by their regulator.

The system smells just as bad on the inside as it does on the outside. As a veteran/survivor, I just hold my nose and get on with life as best I can.
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Old 10-07-2014, 04:58 AM   #22
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I'll bet someday you could write a book.


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Old 10-07-2014, 05:40 AM   #23
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I'll bet someday you could write a book.

And several of us would probably buy it -- or at least ask our libraries to!
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Old 10-07-2014, 10:01 AM   #24
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I'm pretty "free market", but the "system" always has been, is, and always will be, rigged to the advantage of the powerful and connected.

In reading about the financial collapse, I note that more than one author commented that the regulators were often the ones who couldn't get a job on Wall Street, and that they were mostly concerned with getting the right forms filled out, and not so much what was on the forms...
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Old 10-07-2014, 02:53 PM   #25
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I'm pretty "free market", but the "system" always has been, is, and always will be, rigged to the advantage of the powerful and connected.
Isn't that true of every single government in the history of the world?

Like Churchill said:
Many forms of government have been tried, and will be tried in this world of sin and woe. No one pretends that democracy is perfect or all-wise. Indeed it has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time.…
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Old 10-07-2014, 03:09 PM   #26
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Isn't that true of every single government in the history of the world?

Like Churchill said:
Many forms of government have been tried, and will be tried in this world of sin and woe. No one pretends that democracy is perfect or all-wise. Indeed it has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time.…
IMHO, free market and democracy should not be conflated together. They are mutually beneficial, but not the same thing.
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Old 10-07-2014, 03:46 PM   #27
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IMHO, free market and democracy should not be conflated together. They are mutually beneficial, but not the same thing.
OK, I should have skipped the Churchill quote. It's just that it expresses my thinking here, that while free markets are flawed (all human institutions are flawed to a greater or less extent), but the further you get from free markets, the worse things are.
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Old 10-07-2014, 03:58 PM   #28
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OK, I should have skipped the Churchill quote. It's just that it expresses my thinking here, that while free markets are flawed (all human institutions are flawed to a greater or less extent), but the further you get from free markets, the worse things are.
I didn't mean to be nit picky either. China is trying a free market with totalitarian system, and so far it looks like the corruption is worse. but corruption is by nature hidden, so it may be only a hope the free market-totalitarian system is worse than ours.
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