This morning, I have an editorial in Barron’s on "Uncle Sam the enabler."
Its a memo from Wall Street to Washington D.C., discussing how all of the excesses of Wall Street were made possible by the actions in nation’s capital.
I was thrilled to publish this at Barron’s. Here’s an excerpt:
To: Washington, D.C.
From: Wall Street
Re: Credit Crisis
WOW, WE’VE MADE QUITE A MESS OF THINGS
here on Wall Street: Fannie and Freddie in conservatorship, investment
banks in the tank, AIG nationalized. Thanks for sending us your new
We on Wall Street feel somewhat
compelled to take at least some responsibility. We used excessive
leverage, failed to maintain adequate capital, engaged in reckless
speculation, created new complex derivatives. We focused on short-term
profits at the expense of sustainability. We not only undermined our
own firms, we destabilized the financial sector and roiled the global
economy, to boot. And we got huge bonuses.
But here’s a news flash for you,
D.C.: We could not have done it without you. We may be drunks, but you
were our enablers: Your legislative, executive, and administrative
decisions made possible all that we did. Our recklessness would not
have reached its soaring heights but for your governmental incompetence.
The full text is below in PDF format.
It was a pleasure working with Thom Donlan on this, who turned my blunt, meandering scribbles into a razor sharp scalpel.
A Memo Found in the Street
Uncle Sam the enabler
By BARRY L. RITHOLTZ
MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 29, 2008