January 25, 2011
It is with heavy pen...
...that I write my last Post tonight. I wish to thank my co-editors Josh, Stefan and Eric for a great, insightful year. My various teaching and writing responsibilities simply don't afford the time necessary for me to continue as an editor with the Blog, as much fun as it has been.
And what a year we've seen. The attempt by Congress to fix the regulatory mosaic via Dodd-Frank. Yet another SEC crusade against insider trading (this one with wiretaps!). Countries being "downgraded" by credit rating agencies; a state sued for faulty disclosure. "Investments" stretching to include dubious foreign baseball academies and more traditional wagers on life insurance proceeds. The Wall Street Journal opining that the recession is over, with various economic indexes screaming that it's not.
Looking back on 2010, I hope in future days I recall it most as the great awakening on financial health. People are scouring their mortgage statements for details, economists are juxtaposing remedies from different eras, and students are beginning to suspect that a number of supervisory failures can be tied to SEC clout and funding.
We've learned to survive with minimal interest on our savings accounts, and without stock dividends. We've patiently watched the stock market slowly creep back, and we've idealistically hoped for a steady rise in employment. Overall, we've remained admirably calm for a nation with so many home mortgages still set to default.
But we've also seen alarming numbers of people on the left and right delegate their judgment to TV personalities. And that's why complacency remains our number one enemy.
So I sign off by saying do not go quietly into the news tonight. Continue to debate the efficacy of government regulations, the accuracy of employment statistics, the value of net capital limitations, the reason why the big things don't seem to change. Write posts and comments and blogs and sound off wherever possible to keep rational, civil debate alive. For far more daunting than adjustable rate mortgages and CDOs is the specter that those who actually read the fine print will become indifferent. As a reminder, we've got Basel III, mandatory arbitration, executive compensation, proprietary trading and extra-territorial application of fraud prohibitions all teed up for consideration. With a President now tuned to global competitiveness, it may be more important than ever that academia explore novel, worldwide initiatives to prevent man from his own entrepreneurial carelessness or internecine greed. There may be no simple solution to any of the suddenly pressing legal-economic problems confronting us, but let the future say that at least our decisions were adequately informed and robustly discussed.
In three words, "Blog On America," and I think we'll be alright.
January 25, 2011 | Permalink