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NY Times Highlights Return to Financial Regulation

Nothing makes the media happier than an expansion of government.

The New York Times showed that on July 16 in their reaction to the passage of financial reform. In “Financial Overhauls Signals Shift on Deregulation,” reporters Binyamin Applebaum and David M. Herszenhorn praised the “sweeping expansion of federal financial regulation” that reflected “a renewed mistrust of financial markets after decades in which Washington stood back from Wall Street with wide-eyed admiration.”

The story focused solely on the new role regulators will play in the financial markets and credited the bill with ending “an era of hands-off optimism” and reasserting “the importance of federal supervision of financial transactions.”

But the authors spun the previous “era” as deregulated by not mentioning regulation such as Sarbanes-Oxley passed in 2002 or reminding readers of the many regulators overseeing the financial sector (SEC, FDIC, FHFA, Federal Reserve and others)

In fact, Applebaum and Herszenhorn buried the fact that “the legislation will be carried out mostly by the same federal workers who were on duty as the financial system collapsed” in the next to last paragraph.

They admitted that the new consumer bureau that’s been championed by the left will be “mostly will be staffed with employees transferred from the consumer divisions of the existing banking regulators, which have been excoriated by Congress and other critics for failing to protect borrowers from obvious and widespread abuses.”

Essentially, the same people who failed to “regulate” the first financial crisis will be given another chance. Clearly the Times wasn’t disturbed by that, joining other journalists in favoring regulation, but barely noticing the failure of regulators.

How much did Applebaum and Herszenhorn praise the increased regulation? In their 32-paragraph story, the word ‘regulate’ or a variation of it (regulator, regulation, etc) was used 19 times, or nearly every other paragraph. In fact, the story even noted how Washington officials are already searching for buildings to house the new regulators.

“Officials are already working to prepare for the expansion of government, including finding buildings in Washington to house the new agencies,” they wrote.

Also missing from the Times’ story were the words ‘Fannie Mae’ or ‘Freddie Mac.’ The story ignored the fact that the new bill does not include any reformation of the two government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs) which are currently running up a taxpayer tab that could climb as high as $1 trillion.

The story was weighted heavily on the Democrats point of view, with quotes from Democratic politicians and advisers outweighing Republicans 4 to 1. The lone Republican quoted by the Times was Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Ala., who called the bill a “2,300-page legislative monster.”