Government Regulations Help Big Banks

JP Morgan, one of the largest, if not the largest, Banks in the world is now going to be allowed to do a “stock buy back” plan. The federal government, when it gave money to private banks to keep them from collapsing, the federal government also bought stock in those private banks. JP Morgan was one of those private banks that had some of their stock bought from the private bank. Now JP Morgan was given the okay to buy back their stocks from the federal government.

Here is a video on that story from NBR (Nightly Business Report):

banking-analyst-looks-at-jp-morgan-buyback-plan-nov-8-2012#.UJxqvIYgITY

Now I want people to try to remember back to 2008 and 2009. Around these times, some of the largest private banks in the world and which operated in a global market, happened to hit into a financial crisis. There were some bad investments that the banks took on or were holding, which no rational actor would have chosen. The federal government wanted to prevent a “financial meltdown” from happening and gave tax payer money to those private banks to keep them from collapsing. At the same time the federal government took stock on those companies. The private banks, once they got through the “financial meltdown” would be allowed to buy back the stock options in the bank that the federal government owned.

Some people were made about the banks and wanted to institute regulations to keep these “too big to fail” banks that helped to cause the financial meltdown. Laws were passed and executive orders were given, and banks had more restrictions placed on activities they cannot do. People were very angry at the big private banks and wanted these big banks to fail. But something interesting appears to be happening with wanting the private banks to pay that helped to cause this situation, by institution “more” regulations on these private banks that helped to bring about the financial storm.

The person being interviewed in this story happens to bring up something very interesting. These private banks did not want Barack Obama or Elizabeth Warren to be elected. They did not want them to be elected because of these “regulations”. But what happened because of these “regulations”? They helped to expand the market power, or how much of the piece of the pie they have, and kicked out some of their competition. These regulations helped “small” private banks go under. But this “big” banks that helped to cause the financial problem can afford these regulations and they can obtain more market power since they have one less potential rival for your money. So “small business”, as “small banks”, are not being helped with the regulations. Instead, these regulations allow for there to be less competition between these “too big to fail” private banks.

How about that? You try to hurt someone and it only makes them stronger. Are they Goku?

Commentary on Elizabeth Warren’s “You didn’t Build that”

There is a talk that this woman named Elizabeth Warren, who is part of the Democratic party and was the Chair of the Congressional Oversight Panel for the Troubled Asset Relief Program, i.e. TARP.

She was recorded at a some gathering of individuals, and was recorded saying a couple of things. One of them is very much in line with this “You didn’t Build that” type of mentality. Now I want to focus on particle part, which sums up the position of “You didn’t Build that” type of mentality.

Elizabeth Warren says, “There is nobody in this country who got rich on his own. Nobody.  You built a factory out there — good for you. But I want to be clear.  You moved your goods to market on the roads the rest of us paid for.  You hired workers the rest of us paid to educate.  You were safe in your factory because of police forces and fire forces that the rest of us paid for. You didn’t have to worry that marauding bands would come and seize everything at your factory… Now look.  You built a factory and it turned into something terrific or a great idea — God Bless! Keep a Big Hunk of it.  But part of the underlying social contract is you take a hunk of that and pay forward for the next kid who comes along.”

Now she admits that someone built a factory. Now what does she say to justify the you didn’t build that idea? Well you used roads that the rest of people paid for, in order to sell the goods from what you built.

There is a very interesting Supreme Court case called Plessy v. Ferguson. In that case, an opinion by Justice J. Haring was recorded as dissenting with the “Separate but Equal” idea. In the case of dissenting, he happens to quote something that is related to this roads idea of “you didn’t build that”.

Mr. Justice Strong in Olcott v. The Supervisors: “That railroads, though constructed by private corporations and owned by them, are public highways has been the doctrine of nearly all the courts ever since such conveniences for passage and transportation have had any existence. Very early the question arose whether a State’s right of eminent domain could be exercised by a private corporation created for the purpose of constructing a railroad. Clearly it could not unless taking land for such a purpose by such an agency is taking land for public use. The right of eminent domain nowhere justifies taking property for a private use. Yet it is a doctrine universally accepted that a state legislature may authorize a private corporation to take land for the construction of such a road, making compensation to the owner. What else does this doctrine mean if not that building a railroad, though it be built by a private corporation, is an act done for a public use.”

Another point is made, while quoting another court case, basically stated that “…the real and personal property necessary to the establishment and management of the railroad is vested in the corporation…”

The key point that is being made is that the railroads were built by private corporations, built by private individuals. In fact, lots of production on private rail roads were based on an economic bubble. Private investors were putting lots of money into laying down rail-road tracks and obtaining the private land from individuals and some from the government taking it through eminent domain. There was exponential growth in the building of the railroad infrastructure by private individuals and corporations, and eventually with that the economic bubble burst. Many of those private corporations, individuals, who invested in that infrastructure and railroads went broke. But they left something behind in the infrastructure of the railroads.

Another private corporation, or a few, came in and bought up lots of this land and railroads. They now provide the service or product. They took up all the infrastructure left behind. The same thing happened with telephone wires. Lots of private individuals invested in those things, but they failed because they invested lots of money on infrastructure when there were not many consumers, or private individuals, who could afford the service or even wanted it in the first place. But the infrastructure is what was left from these private investments. These failed private investments. But another private corporation came along and bought up most of the infrastructure at a later time. This private corporation was Western Union. Western Union didn’t pay for most of the telephone wires and poles, if any, but they did pay to obtain them at a later time. Another private corporation buying up on the private investment of another private corporation.

So when you hear people talking about this roads type, never forget that they were first built by private corporations and private individuals. They laid the ground work for these “public goods” or “public services”. They made the investments, they took the risks of failing, and we benefited from it. We benefited from their success and benefited from their failure. But this is not all. Everyone pays for it with taxes. They pay for it when they use transportation taxes like a gas tax. They pay for it when they go through a toll road. So they laid the foundation out of their own money, but also pay to keep it up with their own money. We only payed to keep it up after they started it on their own. Only after they took the initiative, after they took the risk. We co-invested with them after they got it up and running.

They built it, we liked it, we all pay to keep it.

Now there is another reason that I brought up Plessy v. Ferguson, which deals with something else that Warren said in her talk. But first let me quote some more from the dissenting opinion of J. Harlan. “But in view of the Constitution, in the eye of the law, there is in this country no superior, dominant, ruling class of citizens. There is no caste here. Our Constitution is color-blind, and neither knows nor tolerates classes among citizens. In respect of civil rights, all citizens are equal before the law. The humblest is the peer of the most powerful. The law regards man as man, and takes no account of his surroundings or of his color when his civil rights as guaranteed by the supreme law of the land are involved.” (Sentences in bold are my emphasis)

Now if you do not know, Plessy v. Ferguson created the doctrine known as “Separate but Equal”, and Justice J. Harlan dissented from the idea of “Separate but Equal”. The ruling of Plessy v. Ferguson was later overthrown by the Supreme Court in Brown v. Board of Education. In Brown v. Board of Education, the opinion of the court overturned Separate but Equal, and understood it to mean that “equality of treatment is accorded when the races are provided substantially equal facilities, even though these facilities be separate.” Now “facilities” were things basically like bathrooms, building safety, and other raw goods.

Elizabeth Warren, “My favorite part of looking at this hole, we got in this hole, one billion dollars, uh, one trillion dollars, on tax cuts for the rich under George Bush.  We got into this hole two trillion dollars on two wars that were put on a credit card for our children and grandchildren to pay off.  And we got into this hole one trillion on a Medicare drug program that was not paid for and was 40% more expensive than its needs to be because it was a giveaway to the drug companies.  That’s just four trillion right there. So part of the way you fix this problem is don’t do those things! I hear all this, oh this is class warfare, no!”

I am not concerned with what lead to the economic condition that came about in 2007 with the Housing Bubble. So her talking points with that are of no concern to what follows. Now Warren is specifically talking about the rich, those “tax cuts for the rich under George Bush.” Now the rich were paying less than they did from Bill Clinton. They payed less of a percentage of their income with Bush than they did in comparison to when Clinton was POTUS.

Person A has 30% of their personal income taking from them each year by the government, under President X.
Person B has 10% of their personal income taking from them each year by the government, under President X.

Person A has 20% of their personal income taking from them each year by the government, under President Y.
Person B has 5% of their personal income taking from them each year by the government, under President Y.

Warrens complaint is that one “class” of people are paying less in income tax than they did before, or could be taxed on. She wants one specific class of people to have more of their personal income taken than another class of people have taken out of theirs. But, of course, this would not be unequal because they are separate but equal. All people in Class A pay the exact same income tax percentage. All people in Class B pay the exact same income tax percentage. So no individual in Class A is paying more in income tax percentage than any other individual in Class A, and vice versa with Class B. Now the class of A and B are separate, but they are equal. Every person in Class A pay the same income tax of 20%, and every person in Class B pay the same income tax of 5%, but both classes don’t pay the same income tax percentage. They are separate but equal.

Separate and Equal:
Person A, who makes 100,000 dollars in personal income a year, pays a 30% income tax; Person A will pay $30,000 dollars in income tax.
Person B, who makes 50,000 dollars in personal income a year, pays 10% income tax; Person B will pay $5,000 dollars in income tax.

Equal and not Separate:
Person A, who makes 100,000 dollars in personal income a year, pays 10% income tax; Person A will pay $10,000 dollars in income tax.
Person B, who makes 50,000 dollars in personal income a year, pays 10% income tax; Person A will pay 5,000 dollars in income tax.

Notice that when equal and not separate, both Americans pay their “fair share”, but one group of Americans are still paying more when they pay their “fair share”. But their fair share is the same as every other American. In fact, the richer you get, the more of an exponential growth in the amount of money you will give up, based on that income percentage of their personal income still being the same. To create a play off of what J. Hardlan said in his opinion, “Our Constitution is economically blind, and neither knows nor tolerates classes among citizens. The poorest is the equal of the richest.” But Elizabeth Warren appears to care little about “fair share”, let alone “Equality”. She prefers to think that the rich are similar to blacks of the olden times, Separate but Equal under the law. Different laws and regulations apply to the rich that do not apply to the non-rich, like different laws and regulations applied to white people that did not apply to the non-white people. She just prefers to discriminate based on economic status instead of race status, but discrimination nonetheless.