This week the National Center for Policy Analysis (NCPA) is holding its second Financial Crisis Initiative conference in Washington, D.C. I’ll be part of the panel discussions along with my colleague Marianne Jennings, ethicist and the author of The Seven Signs of Ethical Collapse and several other speakers who were in Dallas this month.
The D.C. audience will include Congressional representatives, their aides, Think Tank personnel, association execs and bankers. What is a real step forward in this conversation about the financial crisis is Congressman Jeb Hensarling (R-TX), Chair of the House Financial Services Committee, opening the D.C. session. He will discuss his reasons why an accurate narrative of the causes of the crisis needs to be a part of the public discourse and will present his plans to ”fix” some of the regulatory process.
I believe many of us, including me, are eager to hear how he plans on bringing the TBTF banks to task for their responsibility in much of the financial crisis and subsequent bailouts. I’ll keep you informed of what transpires and I hope I’m not too optimistic in thinking action steps will come out of this.
NCPA is building a strong reputation as “America’s Think Tank,” with an emphasis on civil liberties, and developing and promoting private free market alternatives to government regulations. As you know, focusing on the causes of the financial crisis, solutions for prevention and most especially the egregious lack of ethics and transparency that were at its core is my life’s mission. It’s been an honor being part of the NCPA Financial Crisis initiative as I believe we’ve made some significant strides in raising awareness on this issue. In fact, Allen West, NCPA’s Executive Director and Vice Chairman of the Board, and I wrote an op-ed on these issues, which was picked up by several media outlets, including, CNS News.
Making sure the situation we were in in 2008 doesn’t happen again will be foremost in the D.C. conference conversations. As I’ve discussed before, just knowing the causes is not enough, we must take preventive action. More good news…Wayne Abernathy, Executive V.P. of the American Bankers Association, will be speaking about regulations and their past and present impact. I anticipate some robust conversation around Dodd-Frank.
In light of the crisis and regulations having destroyed so many community banks and with several of the TBTF members of the American Bankers Association, I’m curious as to what he will say. It would have been interesting to have a voice from the Community Bankers side as well.
The Financial Services Crisis Initiative goal is to foster both communicating of and advocating for better economic policies which we anticipate should and could lead to the prevention of a future crisis. Most of all, what is important is the sound dialogue that I anticipate will happen at this conference with the key people who can make a difference, who can act to prevent future malfeasance, who can put the right regulations into place.
NCPA is taking some giant steps in the right direction. I’m honored to be involved. To mitigate higher levels of household debt, examine the lack of individual banker prosecutions, to prevent the bigger banks growing ever bigger at the expense of the American taxpayer and to assure our economy stays robust and healthy for a long time to come are worthwhile goals.