our governments are captured

On corporate capture of our governments, in 1913 Woodrow Wilson wrote:

If the government is to tell big business men how to run their business, then don’t you see that big business men have to get closer to the government even than they are now?

Don’t you see that they must capture the government, in order not to be restrained too much by it?

Must capture the government? They have already captured it.

Edward Kane at Boston College wrote:

This ugly financial episode we’ve all had to live through makes clear that taxpayers must protect themselves against two things:

1) the corrupting influence of bureaucratic self-interest among regulators and

2) the political clout wielded by the large institutions they are supposed to police.

That authorities and financiers could so callously violate common-law duties of loyalty, competence, and care they owe taxpayers and financial-institution customers is evidence of a massive incentive breakdown in industry and government.

All our regulators must:

…make themselves politically and financially accountable for the ways in which they exercise their discretion.

All our regulators must:

…fearlessly bond themselves to disclose enough information about their decision making to allow the community or interested outsiders to determine whether and how badly they neglect, abuse, or mishandle their responsibilities.