Lately, I haven’t been able to turn on TV news without the talking heads therein telling me the country’s financial state is terrible because of deregulation. The Republicans, it is alleged or explicitly stated, deregulated the financial sector, and those greedy businessmen and bankers took full advantage. Now, the bottom has fallen out of the stock market and financial institutions are having to be bailed out by the government.
Then, what to my wondering screen should appear, but the following:
The heart of the matter:
“The Federal Register, which lists all new rules, ran to 72,090 pages in 2007. This was down 3.8% from 2006. The record year was 2004, which saw 75,676 pages.
“Out of more than 60 federal departments, a mere five accounted for 45% of new rules. The departments of Treasury, Commerce, Agriculture, and Homeland Security, along with the EPA, instituted a combined 1,741 new rules in 2007.
“Some rules cost more than others and deserve special attention. Of the new rules, 159 are “economically significant,” meaning they will cost at least $100 million a year. ”
So, it’s difficult for me to see just what has been “deregulated,” and how it’s caused all this financial destruction.