26 May 2012

The road paved with the illusion of good intention

The road we are travelling down currently only appears to be paved with good intentions... I had posted earlier on well-meaning government regulations almost always accomplishing the opposite of what was intended.

This is not just on Wall Street or in the larger economy but in literally every sphere of life. (For example, banning of gold imports to India in the 60s gave rise to smuggling and an powerful criminal underground in the 70s, and then an untouchable politician-criminal nexus in the 80s and 90s.)

Perhaps it's not all down to lack of foresight or ineptitude and its (supposedly) unintended consequences! In most cases - especially with a little knowledge of history - the approximate result of imposing incentives on certain actions and disincentives on others is very well understood.

You see, the role of "regulators" is to regulate. And regulate can mean both "to bring under the ambit of law", and also "to adjust inputs to achieve a desired result". The former is laudable; the latter sinister.

In the video, you'll notice that Bob English (the guest) mentions that "consolidation" is going on at an increasing pace even in traditionally free-wheeling industries like Information Technology. There are mega-duopolies everywhere you look offering nothing more than the illusion of competition. And it is very pronounced in the political sphere in every major nation. Just think of all the hyped-up platitudes about Left vs Right, Liberal vs Conservative, etc.

Perhaps Too Big To Fail (TBTF) is here by design - and they are being primed to get even bigger!

To me, it looks like there is a fork in the road ahead - and it looks like the "intentions" of TBTFs everywhere are about to converge...

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