Regulation Won’t Kill Wall Street


I read something last night about the origins of the Securities and Exchange Commission and it’s frankly pretty hysterical looking back at the prophesies of doom that were made about FDR’s socialist innovation. Daniel Gross did the legwork to forge a comprehensive summary of this kind of nonsense, and it’s worth your time:

For the past several decades, Wall Street has continually told Washington that if the Street can’t do things the way it always has, and if the government changes the rules to mandate greater transparency and customer protection, that the geniuses in Lower Manhattan won’t be able to make money, and it would stunt the industry. They’ve been wrong every time.

The short story is that very rich people tend to be small-c conservative about changing the way things work because, hey, they’re already rich. The status quo works well for them. And Wall Street is full of rich people. But we shouldn’t listen to them.