Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Socialism & the Financial Industry

Many people sneer when conservatives call President Obama a socialist. And right-wing attacks on him often appear to be over the top. But then you see a New York Times story titled, "U.S. Considers Financial Pay Guidelines." According to the article, the government is
contemplating a major overhaul of the compensation practices in the financial services industry, moving beyond banks to include more loosely regulated hedge funds and private equity firms.
In other words, the administration wants to control what private corporations can pay their employees. But wait you say, isn't this just for firms who received bailouts? After all, even though I was against the bailouts, I agreed that it was reasonable to attach government strings to tax money handouts. But apparently that isn't the case.  
the new rules could apply to financial firms like hedge funds or private equity firms that never accepted money from the Troubled Asset Relief Program, or TARP. It would also mean greater oversight on compensation for banks that are seeking to return the TARP money in an effort to avoid the new strings attached to pay.
The Obama administration terms this "reform." It's sounds much more like a government power grab, and an attempt to institute a form of central planning for the financial industry.

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