OT: Subprime Mortgage Crisis and The Jungle

As a reader of Gabriel Kolko’s The Triumph of Conservatism, this article strikes an all-too-familiar chord. However, in light of the prevailing market ideologies, it’s hard to imagine that a comparable Progressive response is in the offing — and that may lose us a lot! Calls Grow for Foreigners to Have a Say on U.S. Market Rules

Politicians, regulators and financial specialists outside the United States are seeking a role in the oversight of American markets, banks and rating agencies after recent problems related to subprime mortgages.

Their argument is simple: The United States is exporting financial products, but losses to investors in other countries suggest that American regulators are not properly monitoring the products or alerting investors to the risks.

“We need an international approach, and the United States needs to be part of it,” said Peter Bofinger, a member of the German government’s economics advisory board and a professor at the University of Würzburg.

While regulators in the United States have not been receptive to the idea in the past, analysts said that Europe and Asia had more leverage now. Washington might have to yield if it wants to succeed in imposing bilateral regulations on government-owned investment funds from emerging economies.

After all, how different is selling poorly-documented securities from selling adulterated foods? I am sure the Chinese are confronting precisely the same question, and while the Progressive solution was regulation to protect business interests, it’s hard to imagine any Washington policymaker able to get past the “markets good, regulation bad” mindset that has led us to this pass.

Later: shades of Kolko! Industry asking for regulation! What’ll they think of next? Toy Makers Seek Standards for U.S. Safety. And, even in this article, note the opening rhetorical tone:

Acknowledging a growing crisis of public confidence caused by a series of recent recalls, the nation’s largest toy makers have taken the unusual step of asking the federal government to impose mandatory safety-testing standards for all toys sold in the United States.