One of the most damning things about Romney’s refusal to tell the truth about Bain and to release his tax returns is that it just demonstrates to Americans that Romney doesn’t want to play by the rules that everyone else has to. Sullivan’s been doing a great job pointing this out:
More to the point, these attacks are not merely personal. When the Obama campaign says that Screen shot 2012-07-14 at 3.38.15 PMRomney is not the solution, but the problem, they are arguing that the extremes to which our economy and culture have gone in the last two decades – e.g. the money-grubbing, tax-evading and reckless financial sector – will not be tackled by a man who made a fortune by engaging in it. And this is not over the top. Bain is at the center of Romney’s own argument for his candidacy. And the attacks on Romney’s foreign bank accounts are much less incendiary than arguing that Obama does not understand his own country or apologized for it.
Mitt thinks of himself like these Galtian Masters of the Universe, who need not play by the rules:
The Federal Reserve Bank of New York learned in April 2008, as the financial crisis was brewing, that at least one bank was reporting false interest rates.
At the time, a Barclays employee told a New York Fed official that “we know that we’re not posting um, an honest” rate, according to documents released by the regulator on Friday. The employee indicated that other big banks made similarly bogus reports, saying that the British institution wanted to “fit in with the rest of the crowd.”
Although the New York Fed conferred with Britain and American regulators about the problems and recommended reforms, it failed to stop the illegal activity, which persisted through 2009.
Even after authorities have beefed up oversight and lawmakers have enacted new rules, blowups on Wall Street continue to occur with some regularity. Amid the rate-manipulation scandal, regulators are also dealing with the fallout from the multibillion-dollar trading losses at JP Morgan Chase and the collapse of a second brokerage firm, just months after the failure of MF Global.
“I wish I could say I’m shocked, because it is shocking,” said Frank Partnoy, the George E. Barrett professor of law and finance at the University of San Diego School of Law. “But regulators have not been particularly effective or aggressive in the past two decades of finance.”
They simply do not feel the obligation to follow any rules. Those are for little people. And you know what, they are right, because the only thing that has happened so far in this scandal is a paltry 400 million dollar fine for Barclays. Here we have a scandal involving multiple banks and the interest rate set on hundreds of trillions of loans, and other than Matt Taibbi screaming, a couple blogposts on Dealbook and the Business Insider, and a piece or two on NPR, no one seems to give a shit.