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Against Monopoly

defending the right to innovate

Monopoly corrupts. Absolute monopoly corrupts absolutely.





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The banks are still avoiding reform and the public is paying

As we all know, the public is angry about the big Wall Street bank bailout and they have reason to be. Peter Goodman writes a "fair and balanced" piece quoting both critics and the banks on the government program to protect homeowners from foreclosure that is offering some palliatives but really only delaying the inevitable loss link here. At the same time, the banks seem to be making out very well. Goodman suggests with a few examples, that they are exploiting their superior bargaining position and knowledge to maximize their return.

The public is paying the banks in ways most people don't realize. They are of course aware that the government--i.e., the taxpayer--is on the hook for the direct payouts which must ultimately be covered by taxes. But that is a pain somewhere in the future, not today. But they are also paying in the form of reduced earnings on their savings as the FED continues its low interest rate policies. Low interest is essential for the banks to be able to get deposits or borrow in order to lend and "earn their way" back to solvency, but there it is again--the public pays, not the banks, or their stockholders or their management with their gigantic salaries, bonuses and benefits.

The public should also be asking about the reform they have been promised so that the same crisis doesn't occur again or is at least much less devastating. Instead, they hear about the successful lobbying of the financial industry to block it.


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