Government lacks the will to allow to big to fail firms to fail, and the will and competence to regulate them. If a firm is too big to fail, it will take advantage of that fact, leading to crisis and massive tax payer losses.
Intefluidity reports that Treasury is not willing to deal with this problem.
Interfluidity tells us:
I believe these policymakers conflate, in full sincerity, incumbent financial institutions with “the system”, “the economy”, and “ordinary Americans”.
Ultimately, this “minimalist” approach to managing the GSEs amounts to nothing more or less than keeping the existing system and proposing that it be better regulated, including specific regulatory suggestions that are foreseeably unlikely to withstand industry pressure. No offense to its very smart proponent, but this was a non-idea dressed up as reform.
Large, complex, leveraged and interconnected financial firms simply cannot be regulated, by the private or public sector. Without regulation they quite rationally maximize stakeholder wealth in a manner that happens to be socially and economically destructive. The only way around this is to change the incentives of all stakeholders, and that could only happen by placing them in a different kind of firm. We have to limit the size and composition of firms’ creditor base, so we can be sure losses to creditors would be socially and politically tolerable. (We do this already, or try to, with hedge funds.)