Zachary Karabell, president of River Twice Research and is a regular panelist on CNBC’s Fast Money today appears on the Wall Street Journal with a commentary called “Washington Has Always Demonized Wall Street”. In it, he provides a good overview of the many times that Wall Street has been demonized- stretching as far back as the 1800s with the First Bank of the United States where fear abound as to the possible subversion of the country to the personal gain of the merchants and speculators. There was also the Second Bank of the US, a case against JP Morgan, the “money changers” during the Great Depression and many others. All pointing to the kind of greed allegedly abundant on Wall Street.
The writer’s point was that no matter how many times the people in Wall Street have become the scapegoat, and responded to with increasing regulations, they will always find a a way- despite the persistent crushing of the chance to innovate- to keep innovating. Though the “evil” past have been quickly forgotten, there will always come a time when another evil face of Wall Street will emerge whether it is under Obama’s presidency or not.
New regulations may prevent an exact recurrence of yesterday’s crises, but our relentless capacity for reinvention means that we will produce innovations that will in turn create new problems.