Paying the Piper and Dancing the Tune
The investment banks want the Federal Reserve's lender-of-last-resort support without wanting its regulatory oversight. Sorry guys, it doesn't work that way.
Emanuel Derman, via James Wilmott:
Emanuel Derman's Blog: Are you bicestrian? You don't look bicestrian.: "So many riders in the Tour de France have been tossed out because of drugs, the overall leader is now a delivery guy from Empire Szechuan," joked David Letterman in 2007. Anyone who lives on the Upper West Side of Manhattan knows what it's like to walk across Broadway when the sign says WALK and then narrowly escape being hit by a delivery guy coming through on a bicycle. Or riding the wrong way down a one-way street.
There's a simple explanation. The delivery guys have been given the right at any time to regard themselves as either cyclists or a pedestrians. When the traffic light is green, they regard themselves as vehicles and ride. When the light is red they define themselves as a pedestrian who just happens to have wheels. They can choose whatever is advantageous at any time. Who can blame them? Life is short and they need the money.
I am reminded of this when I read rumors that some of the investment banks want to give up their bank holding company status now that their funding crisis is over.