On January 5, Ron Paul addressed the House Financial Services Committee’s hearing on the Madoff Ponzi scandal. He pointed out that Bernard Madoff was operating under the supervision of the SEC, that more regulation will only make the job of cunning fraudsters easier because they can claim to be approved by the government, and that two of the biggest government-run Ponzi schemes are the Social Security system and even the monetary system itself. These scams create a climate of fraud that sucks in the people and teaches them to imitate the government. This outrage must be stopped and it can be done by abolishing the Federal Reserve and the SEC, and returning to an honest monetary system based on gold and/or free competition in currencies.
Ron Paul: “For a good many years now, since the 1930s, every time a problem like this comes up, like in the Depression, we think that it is a lack of regulation, so we introduce regulatory agencies like the SEC, and, like after Enron, that was a major problem so we appropriate more money, and hire more people… that doesn’t do any good.
But this circumstance I think really makes my point, that the approach is completely wrong. [The approach] that the regulatory agencies are preempting people from doing bad things, just doesn’t work. There are millions and millions and millions of transactions. You can’t do it. All they do is give a false sense of security.
This is a perfect example of it. The SEC was involved with Madoff over the last decade. And that sort of gives the stamp of approval and says, “oh, must be okay”. So everybody’s guard is let down. This creates the moral hazard that allows people to make these mistakes and not to assume responsibility for themselves.
Does that mean we should ignore the problem? No! The problem comes because people commit fraud. And fraud laws are on the books. All the people involved with Enron were prosecuted under state laws of fraud, and the market took care of the stocks. But just adding on new regulations and spending millions and millions if not billions of dollars on regulating enterprise doesn’t do any good. It contributes to it. It is the problem.
We should look more to how the atmosphere is created by the Congress. If you look at the principle of fractional reserve banking, that in a way is a Ponzi scheme. This gets people doing things and building a mountain of debt… debt on debt, in this manner.
Also, if you really want to look at a big Ponzi scheme, and it is said too often that people end up doing what governments to, if we set examples, and believe me, everybody knows the Social Security system is a Ponzi scheme.
So yes, 50 billion dollars is horrendous, but what about an 8 trillion dollar loss in the stock market? So what do we do? We rush and pump in 8 trillion dollars. Where do we get the money? We create it out of thin air, furthering this whole idea of moral hazard and believing that we can create an unmanageable system.
It’s not the fault of the individuals at the SEC. They have an impossible job and they have to pretend they’re doing something to feel relevant the same way we do here in the Congress. We have to feel relevant we need the market to work, we need to get rid of the bad policies, the monetary system, and these mountains of debt. We say, well we’re relevant because we’re gonna hire more bureaucrats and we’re gonna appropriate more money we don’t have. And we’re gonna solve all our problems.
We’ve been doing this for 78 years, and we’ll do it again, but believe me, this will not solve our problems. We need to think about eliminating this whole regulatory process. And actually, we don’t need the SEC at all, and we could thrive even better and we would dwell on self-reliance, self-policing and the idea that people can’t commit fraud, but the government should not commit fraud either. We should not set an example.”