How to reform government and the financial system

Hercules cleans the Augean stables
Hercules cleans the Augean stables

Excerpts from some eminently sensible solutions by financial insider Epicurean Dealmaker. Read them all.

1) Ban political campaign contributions by the financial industry. We currently have the best politicians money can buy. I suspect it might be conducive toward better governance should this channel of undue influence be severed. Can you disagree?

4) Consolidate all banking supervision under one unified national regulator. No more “regulator shopping.” No more races to the bottom

7) Create an integrated regulator of wholesale and institutional financial markets. Merge the SEC and the CFTC. Bolster its combined budget. Make broker dealers and other regulated entities provide operating funds through levies. Upgrade its systems, procedures, and personnel. Double or triple its professionals’ pay, and impose a minimum five-year ban on joining any financial services provider after leaving the agency. Increase accountability, esprit de corps, and morale. Hire leaders who are dedicated to turning it into an agency everybody wants to join, instead of a laughingstock. Destroy all evidence that Christopher Cox ever darkened its doors.

10) Simplify and rationalize Congressional oversight of financial regulators. No more oversight of financial derivatives by the Agriculture Committees, I beg you. Pretty please?

And if our elected representatives in Washington are incapable of doing this, then perhaps it is time we took to the barricades ourselves.

Given that DC is a major part of the problem and increasingly is in thrall to the banks, I’m guessing self-reform won’t happen unless peasants with pitchforks are in the streets helping to guide Congress to do the right thing.

We also need public financing of national elections with strict rules, like Britain has, on when campaigns start. That also means no private or business campaign contributions. If this requires a constitutional amendment to happen, then so be it. Our political system is hopelessly corrupt and compromised. Eliminating campaign contributions would be a big first step towards cleaning it up.

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