Wednesday, July 20, 2005

When Libertarians Complain About Government...

...not doing enough to protect them from corporations, it's just sort of odd. Especially when the liberatarians are economic libertarians and generally believe free enterprise is good. Take this David Bernstein post where he details the results of a securities case he argued on behalf of his father before the NASD arbitrator. He goes so far as to comment that

Despite my extensive briefing, the arbitrators cited exactly no precedents in their opinion, even though the chair of the panel is a respected attorney. The chair, Stephen A. Weiner, was a pleasant enough fellow, but query whether someone with his background as a corporate litigator, including for securities industries clients, is an appropriate one for what NASDAQ considers a "public" (not industry) representative arbitrator. If anyone is reading this post while researching arbitrators, I'd advise claimants to ask Mr. Weiner be replaced if he is selected.

The oddness doesn't come out in this story, but across an oeuvre where there is generally a passionate attachment to those liberatarian principles, this is out of character. He's someone who would I suspect, when confronted with a similar story, go "hrrmph, that's what you should expect from supposedly consumer oriented groups, they just go to protect their own interests (regulatory capture)." Self-interest makes him invent a happy world where people aren't corrupt so he can be self-righteous, even though he's normally self-righteous on the point that of course people are corrupt. It's his own self-interest corrupting his general belief that people are corrupt, or something. Though this all libelous and perhaps unfair.


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