Today's laugh is the NASD-New York Stock Exchange regulatory merger, and the efforts to spin it as a "reform" and not what it is, which is a reduction in an already inadequate regulatory setup.
For example, we have this in The Washington Post:
So don't worry, she seems to be saying, we're closing one precinct but there are still plenty of cops out there.
[NASD chairman Mary] Schapiro said the merger would not result in less oversight. "There are still many eyes" watching the securities industry, such as the SEC and the 50 states.
In justifying the merger, the NASD, NYSE and SEC chairman Christopher Cox talked about efficiency and removing duplicative regulatory activity and so on, without specifying precisely what regulatin' is duplicative. Gee guys, if there is unnecessary regulatin' going on, how about coordinating what you do instead of one of yas self-destructing?
This seems like a terrific idea from the Wall Street perspective, but just to make it more terrific they're giving every Wall Street firm a lovely cash gift of $35,000 each.
Floyd Norris implied in the New York Times today that this smacked of "vote buying." Nonsense. Did regulators every need a special reason to be nice to Wall Street?
© 2006 Gary Weiss. All rights reserved.
Wall Street Versus America was published by Penguin USA on April 6.
Click here for its Amazon.com listing and here for more information on the book, from my web site.