Power is never having to say you are sorry

Citing a Greenspan interview: “The majority of lawyers, in my experience, seek to regulate — that is, to contain certain activities with little weight given to the lost benefits of such activities,” he says. “The question is: What do you lose? In this case, a very valuable instrument [credit default swaps, the derivatives at the core of the current mess] for the diminution of systemic risk. You can stop the system dead and eliminate speculative losses. But you will also get significantly reduced economic activity and ultimately lower standards of living.”

Barrett, Paul. 2008. “Wall Street Staggers.” Business Week (17 September): pp. 28-32.


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