Thursday, February 19, 2004

Tales From the Darkside

Whenever I want a dispatch from the dark underbelly of corporate America, I read Wall Street Journal editorials or anything in Forbes. There you can overhear corporate flacks and free market true believers as they plot to screw over the general public.

In the February 16 issue of Forbes, Yale Corporate Law Professor Roberta Romano opines: "Let companies choose their own regulators from among the states, the SEC or even other nations. Regulatory innovations would flourish."

I can just imagine what kind of innovations would flourish if companies could choose their own regulators. There would be a race to the bottom as states and countries competed to develop the weakest, most corporate-friendly regulation possible. To a certain extent that already happens.

The point of regulation is accountability. It loses its point if companies can simply opt out of being held accountable.

But if you, like Professor Romano, see the world as composed just of markets, that's exactly the kind of point you can miss or ignore.


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