While You Were Working - August 9

Programming note: Summer vacation Part Trois kicks off tomorrow. WYWW returns Monday, August 14.

The Labor Department put the fiduciary rule on death row

To the surprise of absolutely no one, the Labor Department submitted a proposal to the Office of Management and Budget today to delay implementation of the remaining parts of the fiduciary rule. The 18-month delay pretty much means the rule should start thinking what it might want for its final meal. Surf and turf anyone?

Financial crisis anniversary: Bailout justification edition

A common refrain from US policymakers, financial services executives and other fans of the government’s crisis response is that the government made a profit off the bailouts. Seriously, how many times did we hear Barack Obama, Hank Paulson or Timothy Geithner brag about how the government got all its money back and even made a profit?

That argument fails to grasp a key aspect of why the public views the bailouts (and everyone involved with them) with such disdain: Policymakers chose Main Street over Wall Street, instead of choosing both.

I have also always found the whole “the government made a profit off the bailouts” argument to be a bit disingenuous because … well … of course the banks were going to be able to pay back the money!

The bailouts were one thing, but the other help the banks got throughout the crisis and recovery was salt in Main Street's wound. In fact, the bailouts coupled with all the other extraordinary monetary policy measures made it almost impossible for banks not to dig themselves out of the hole.

Let me put it another way: If the government had bailed out every small business to help them cover their debts and then let those same small businesses borrow money with virtually zero interest, don’t you think those small businesses would have been able to pay back the original bailout money?

Financial crisis anniversary: Crime and no punishment edition

Boy, this chart says a whole lot:

The winning record Wall Street executives have amassed against the U.S. law enforcement agencies puts the Harlem Globetrotters to shame. I mean, even the Washington Generals managed to beat the Globetrotters at least once.

Wall Street beat Silicon Valley … again

I wrote yesterday how Wall Street is doing a better job on gender equality than Silicon Valley. Well, a recent survey from Training the Street revealed MBA grads are showing a preference for Wall Street over Silicon Valley.

WYWW Appetizers

  • Mea culpa from the Bank of England
  • Investment banker pay set to rise, traders not so much
  • I can’t wait to see the Capitals play at the Capital One Center in our nation’s capital.