Thursday, March 22, 2012

Under Japanese model, repealing disclosure laws seems reasonable Part II

As discussed in Part I, one of the consequences of pursuing the Japanese models for handling a bank solvency led financial crisis is policymakers and financial regulators get comfortable with the idea that it is acceptable for banks to hide losses on and off their balance sheets.

It is a small step from this act of deception to the idea that maybe disclosure isn't needed for other firms.

As Professor Simon Johnson discusses in his post on BaseLine Scenario, the only person who stands between repeal of the 1930s disclosure laws that have served our financial markets well for 70+ years and a return to the type of opacity that produced the Great Depression is President Obama.

The question is will President Obama sign the bill and cement his place alongside Herbert Hoover or will President Obama veto the bill?
As it currently stands the "JOBS" bill now before the Senate would gut investor protection in the United States....
The "JOBS" bill would permit even very large companies to avoid all public disclosures.... 
Big companies like [the "JOBS" bill] ... the idea of escaping SEC [and the market's] scrutiny greatly appeals to them. 
Clearly, if the "JOBS" bill passes and President Obama signs it into law, the bill will go down as Wall Street's Opacity Protection Team's greatest victory.

Of course, the losers will be the 99%.

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