17 September 2008

Don't Games Usually Have Rules?

Those Republicans hate regulation. That hatred seems a little awkward to explain now that financial markets are teetering on the brink of economic catastrophe.

Conservatives more than anyone pointed out that it is ridiculous to have the referees play the game when they railed against socialist government that nationalized companies and industries. That is fine and good. But it is nearly as foolish to play a game with no referees.

McCain recently said that greed on Wall Street is the problem at the heart of the current financial market woes. That is just foolish. Greed is always there. We all want higher returns. People don’t cheat because they want to win – everyone wants to win but not everyone cheats. The problem on Wall Street is one of oversight and regulation. It should be simple: we don’t let the referees play and we don’t leave refereeing to the players. Anyone fan can tell you that competition is enhanced by good rules and fair officials. Enhanced, that is, unless you like it when your golf tournaments look like ultimate fighting matches.


ThomasLB said...

Part of the problem, too, is that the CEOs who make the decisions have "golden parachutes," putting them in the position of walking away with money in their pockets regardless of how poorly or how well the business does.

In Viet Nam, where CEOs convicted of fraud are shot, corruption has been virtually eliminated.

Ron Davison said...

or even if CEOs simply couldn't parachute out of the plane and simply had to move into cargo hold. I mean, if they had to take a position in the firm, their entire life savings tied up in the stock performance.

Big Al said...

Ron, you state that "Anyone can tell you that competition is enhanced by good rules and fair officials".

Aye, matey, there's the rub. Any rule you or I might believe is a "good" rule would most likely be vociferously argued against by folks like Corp CEO's. I see them as taking a slight twist on the Thomas Edison quote of "Rules, there are no rules here -- we're trying to accomplish something" by restating as "Rules, there are no rules here -- we're trying to get as much money as possible".

Ron Davison said...

But Allen,
couldn't we just have a rule that we'll only allow rules that make sense to reasonable people, like me and you?