Friday, October 17, 2008

Obviously, She's Still Sick

She must be delusional from fever. There is no other plausible reason for her to actually title a post "2-4-6-8! Time to overregulate!" The second line of the poem, is of course, "and now I'll go regurgitate!"

This poetically titled word-turd is about government regulation, so you know that it will be fun. Let's see where she starts:

Freddie has a typically thoughtful post on financial regulation:
Freddie, as you may know, got his start as a commenter on MM's blog. Now, for the second time, she's all like "look at my baby!" Proud parents can relate.

While Freddie may or may not be "typically thoughtful" by pointing out that greedy people will do anything for money (no really, that's what was so thoughtful), Megan's thoughtfulness is, amazingly, even shallower. To wit:

As libertarians go, I'm relatively in favor of financial regulation. But I think there are two ways to think about financial regulation:
Right, that's because she's NOT, I repeat, NOT AT FUCKING ALL NOT EVEN A FUCKING TINY BIT a libertarian. She's a ridiculous conservative hack that is too chickenshit to admit that she's a conservative, and so instead calls herself a "libertarian" while backing all conservative positions and criticizing liberals no matter how right they turn out to be (see previous post). So, with that out of the way, let's take a look at the exactly TWO ways... two ways.... two fucking ways! She thinks there are only TWO FUCKING WAYS to regulate. How can she write that thought down and not fucking start bleeding from her ears as her brain wilts into a pool of soggy dog shit? This idiotic woman actually wants to boil down a concept as broad as "regulation" into TWO fucking things. I swear, this women has the most binary grasp on the world EVER. She fucking HEARS in black and white.
1) Wall Street people are tricky bastards who spend almost all of their time thinking of how they can best maximize their profits by screwing The Little People.
Yes, that's right, liberals dehumanize everyone. That is not at all, BTW, Megan dehumanizing liberals. It's just true true fact. I'm not even going to quote the fleshing out of this tremendously idiotic stance because the stupid is already raising my blood pressure, so let's get right to number 2:
2) There are multiple possible equilibria in financial markets, and one of the problems in those markets is that decisions which are individually highly rational can, in aggregate, move society to one of the bad equilibria. Worse, those decisions may be sticky--it may be much harder to get out of the bad equilibria than into them. The government should act to mitigate the systemic risks by doing the things that only it can do: enforce transparency, solve collective action problems, and analyze the system for systemic rather than local risk. This will necessarily involve sacrificing some potential upside in order to insure against catastrophic downsides. But the government must remain aware of its own tendency to be excessively risk averse, because regulators are punished for visible failures, but not invisible lost benefits. It must also worry about the way that the very regulations intended to ensure safety can create or enhance systemic risk, as has happened in this crisis with rules such as the mark-to-market rule, and various institutional requirements for high credit quality in investments.
Blah blah jargon blah bullshit blah, so basically the two avenues are either "You're a stupid, shallow, knee-jerk liberal that hates anyone who make money" or "You agree entirely with Megan and are therefor wise, and good looking, and totally modest." Gee, which would you choose?

Yup, I'd rather be a stupid knee jerk liberal than anything resembling Megan McArdle, too. PLAN A WINS AGAIN!
Needless to say, I think the second approach is better. Unfortunately, in crises like this, the general political attitude is closer to the first one.
OMG why, oh WHY won't she SHUT THE FUCK UP? I'm putting her back in her cage. "Needless to say, I prefer the one that I painted in bright, rosy, smarty pants colors to the one in which I dogmatically attack my opponents and accuse them of dogmatism!" WHO THE FUCK WOULD'VE THUNK?!!?!??! THANKS FOR THE POST, MEGADOODLE!
Moreover, it seems to me that at least some of the people who are tremendously excited about the prospect of regulation are not excited because they are worried about the health of the financial system so much as they are intoxicated by the power that greater regulatory authority might give a liberal government to advance other goals, such as redirecting capital flows to more "deserving" uses, or reducing income inequality.
Hmm, and it seems that at least some libertarians are pedophiles, rapists, and murders SO THEREFORE MEGAN MCARDLE IS TOO! OMG, HOW COULD SHE RAPE SMALL CHILDREN AND THEN MURDER THEM?!!?!?!?!?!!?!?! And note how she basically says it's terribly horrible for liberals to take this latest power grab to do things like give money to poor people, ignoring that the latest conservative power grab was used to bomb the brownies, keep the gays from marrying, increase income inequality, etc etc. It's almost as if she's a one sided shill for pack of soulless, greedy, assholes who are, don't forget, raping and killing children.
I think this is a very good time to strip down our regulatory system to its bare bones and rebuild it into something more effective: streamlining regulatory authority, refocusing it on systemic risk and giving it the power to pursue those issues more effectively, purging the overreliance on single models that make things more convenient for the regulators, and figuring out how the hell Basel II went so deadly wrong.
I think now would be a very good time for Megan to tell me WHAT THE FUCK BASEL II IS!
But I do not think that this is anything close to what we will actually get. We will get piecemeal patches designed to prevent the problems that just occurred without much attention to future issues (see, Enron and mark-to-market accounting). We will probably see restrictions on various types of activity, without regard to lost upside from that activity. There may well be some dramatic and pointless gesture, such as Glass-Steagall's drive to split off investment banking from commercial banking. I expect some populist measures like letting judges rewrite mortgages in bankruptcy, which look swell until the cost of a mortgage goes up.
Omg, preventing the same economic collapse from happening again!? Keeping your money safe and making investments transparent?!?!?!? Judges letting people keep their houes?!?!?!?!?!?!?!!?!! CATS AND DOGS LIVING IN HARMONY!!!!!!!! THE LIBERALS ARE ON THE LOOOOOOOOOSEEEEEE!!!!!! AHHHHH!!!!!!!!
This will make happy those who are definitionally in favor of more regulation.
What kind of person is definitionally [sic] in favor of more regulation? Are there people that just get a boner every time the government tells them what to do? Megan thinks that people are just like "Yeah! More laws! I'm so happy for economic catastrophe because now I get to follow more laws!" How can she not see that THESE ARE THE EXACT FUCKING CATASTROPHES THAT MAKE US WANT A PRO-FUCKING-ACTIVE GOVERNMENT TO BE-FUCKING-GIN WITH?!?!!?!

I think this metaphor perfectly describes McBinary's view of the world; People are cold, so they start a fire. Then it's nice and warm. Some people are like "Awesome, we're warm. Let's save some firewood and keep this fire going nice and toasty forever" and then others, let's call them, I dunno, flibberglarians, they go "No way! This fire is great so a bigger one is better! Let's throw everything on there! Our food! Our houses! Yeah! Fire is awesome!" Afterwards ,that flibberglarian looks around at all their possessions all burned up and blames the people who aren't retarded and accuses them of hating fire all along.
A lot of people writing today seem to think of regulatory agencies as quasi-prisons for Demon Finance, and think that the main problem with the current system is that it's mollycoddling the inmates. Bankers are not criminals.
I'm sorry, WHAT? Does that make sense to anyone? Is that even remotely true? Is she talking about the little gremlins that live under her bed or something? She really feels the need to tell us that "Bankers are not criminals?" wow, whodathunkit. Bankers aren't criminals guys. Man, my ideology is in fucking TATTERS because of this woman's intellect.
As a class, they are exactly as self-interested, self-destructive, and short-sighted as other classes of people that liberals want less highly regulated, such as unions and community organizers.
Right, as a class, those bankers, who act individually and do their best to increase their profits from 1 to 2 gagillion dollars a year no matter what the consequences, are EXACTLY the same as the community organizers who are people the go around, generating collective action so that people can NOT LIVE IN SQUALOR. I-fucking-dentical.

I love Megan.


Freddie said...

My point, actually, isn't that "greedy people will do anything for money". It's that the capitalism/socialism binary isn't as certain as people seem to think, and indeed I don't think the two are diametrically opposed ideas at all. Due to this country's history of anti-communist rhetoric, we tend to imagine that the moneyed professions would never accept anything resembling socialism. But I think that this bailout demonstrates again the ability of pure capitalists to shrug off any particular ideology in the pursuit of greater profits.

That may be a banal point, I don't know. But, you know-- you can apply for a refund at the service counter, etc.

Mr. Wonderful said...

As readers of Fire Megan McArdle go, I'm relatively in favor of firing Megan McArdle. But I think there are two ways to think about Megan McArdle:

1. She's a hideous skanky psychopath who should be totally locked up forever in like a dungeon or something.

2. She's a self-serving, and therefore dishonest, disseminator of "Libertarian" economic analysis, which definitionally means statements that purport to describe the real world from a point of view, more philosophical than economic, that not only makes use of, but prides itself on, its ahistoricity on both the macro- and the micro- (read: individual) level.

Needless to say, I think the second approach is better. Unfortunately, in crises like this, the general blog-reader attitude is closer to the first one. This, then, provides proof--as if any were needed--that I am smarter than the general blog reader and, therefore, that assertion number 2 (above) must, by definition, be the correct one. Having burlesqued an opinion which no reasonable reader can take seriously, I have triumphantly proven the accuracy of my own preferred description, the accuracy and excellence of which are demonstrated, apodictically, by its clear superiority to the crude caricature to which I compare it.

NutellaonToast said...

Freddie, yours post basically said "if it will make them more money, capitalists will go communist."

So, you wrote "Capitalists will do -INSERT ANYTHING HERE- for money" and then pointed out that ANYTHING is inclusive of communism.

It's a somewhat interesting application of a trite observation.

I don't really have much beef with it, it more just got caught in the crossfire.

Mac G said...

Awesome Blog and she has a terrible perspective on our political discourse.