Much is being made of the supposed "uncanny similarities" between "Atlas Shrugged" and the current financial crisis. Yet somehow I don't remember the chapter where at a press conference to announce a new initiative aimed at reducing the regulatory burden on banks, "Representatives of four of the five government agencies responsible for financial supervision used tree shears to attack a stack of paper representing bank regulations. The fifth representative, James Gilleran of the Office of Thrift Supervision, wielded a chainsaw." and where "Two months after that event the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, one of the tree-shears-wielding agencies, moved to exempt national banks from state regulations that protect consumers against predatory lending." In other words, contra Atlas, the regulations were being systematically repealed in the years prior to the crisis, not increased.
Caption: "June 3, 2003: Determined to cut red tape and reduce the regulatory burden are (l-r), Office of Thrift Supervision Director James Gilleran, Jim McLaughlin of the American Bankers Association, Harry Doherty of America's Community Bankers, FDIC Vice Chairman John Reich and Ken Guenther of the Independent Community Bankers of America"