You know things are very very bad on Wall Street when a guy like Henry Paulson -- Treasury secretary, solid Republican, and former Goldman Sachs CEO -- joins the crowd calling for more regulation over the financial markets.
Paulson spared no one in his criticism Thursday of the excesses of deregulation that has now created the worst global financial crisis in a generation, threatening the health of the U.S. economy, the savings of millions of Americans, and the survival of some of the biggest financial institutions in the world. See full story.
Wall Street and Washington both failed big time, he said. Wall Street invented new ways to make money by selling securities so complicated that no one could really follow which shell the pea was under. Fortunes were made on the paper Wall Street sold.
At the same time, Washington's watchdogs were dozing, tranquilized by the false assurance that Wall Street would police its own.
It's been obvious for years now that Wall Street could not be trusted, and finally official Washington agrees. The markets need a tougher cop to make sure that money-center banks, investment banks, hedge funds, mortgage brokers and the rest don't let their own greed and arrogance ruin it for the rest of us.