Enron x ?

The SEC gave the go-ahead for companies to cook their books rather than rate assets at the present market value.  Even with the shoddy standards that used to exist for these things, there was  way too much cooking of the books which is how we got into this economic mess in the first place.  Now it has the blessing of the regulators that are supposed to be preventing that sort of thing. 
 
The price for such temporary apparent stability is that there will be more sudden crashes and these will be more likely to create a cascade effect with investors that get sucked in with rosy outlooks. 
 
After the SEC made the ruling that you can say your assets are worth whatever you say they are worth, there have been lots of conspicuously rosy quarterly statements coming out from e.g. banks who somehow did better although the mortgage end of their business continued to get worse, the consumers that pay the mortgages continued to get laid off at accelerating rates, the value of their collateral continued to deteriorate, etc.  All this is, is smoke and mirrors.   The result is likely to be more Enron style abrupt collapses. 
 
Of interest is that the most voracious banks that have been constantly swalllowing up other banks in mergers are in danger according to the administration’s stress tests.  If we buy up all of the bad debt, etc., then the general public will be financing mergers to make the companies with the greatest market share even more powerful. 
 
We need to look beyond the issue of this corporate machismo though to who has benefited the most, that being in the case of mergers, those who were bought out.  It needs to be looked at to see if anybody consistently benefited or excessively benefited from those deals, particularly if they were not properly arms length or not truely bona fide purchases for value.   The idiots that created enormous, crippled companies need to be dealt with but may not have the resources to compensate for the damage, whereas those who were bought out got cash in hand.   The question of who is at fault is important for various reasons but it is maybe more important to follow the money. 
 
Of course, the machismo induced mega-corporations can also start spinning off assets they gobbled up if they need cash rather than having their mergers financed by the bank of you and me.   Or they should be mostly nationalized and control only returned to private hands on terms where the taxpayers generate a profit proportionate to the risk taken with public money.
 
 
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