Friday, October 9, 2009

A New Era of Rent-Seeking?

A couple of months ago the always awesome Michael Lewis wrote, in the voice of a Goldman Sachs executive (Bloomberg):

Every time we hear the phrase “the United States of Goldman Sachs” we shake our heads in wonder. Every ninth-grader knows that the U.S. government consists of three branches. Goldman owns just one of these outright; the second we simply rent, and the third we have no interest in at all. (Note there isn’t a single former Goldman employee on the Supreme Court.)

While GS won't be able to get anybody on the Court in time for this session, they are going to have an interest in what's being discussed (NYT):
The new Supreme Court term that begins Monday [October 5, 2009] will be dominated by cases concerning corporations, compensation and the financial markets that could signal the justices’ attitude toward regulatory constraints at a time of extraordinary government intervention in the economy.

The term will provide important hints, said Richard H. Pildes, a law professor at New York University, to “how much the worst economic crisis since the Depression is going to shape the court’s general stance toward markets and economic regulation.”

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