Economist, writer, actor, and lawyer Ben Stein follows up his December excoriation of Goldman Sachs' contribution to the subprime crisis with a look in today's New York Times into how Wall Street executives can get away with reckless behavior at the expense of the public. This time he targets the SEC, which has been so weakened in the Bush administration it quietly loosened the capital requirements for investment banks and "told Wall Street to police itself to save on regulatory costs."
Stein cites a speech by hedge fund manager David Einhorn, who says the system works to enrich bankers at the expense of the public. “The owners, employees, and creditors of these institutions are rewarded when they succeed, but it is all of us, the taxpayers, who are left on the hook if they fail. This is called private profits and socialized risk. Heads, I win. Tails you lose. It is a reverse-Robin Hood system.”