May 26th, 2012


Tangentially inspired by Up’s discussion this morning of the Facebook IPO, including the obscure concept of greenshoe.



“People may not understand all the tricks and theories about how a government budget works. But they have an instinctive gut feeling that it doesn’t work like it should.” — Republicans


“People don’t understand all the intricacies about how finance works. You can’t just have an instinctive gut feeling that it doesn’t work like it should.” — The Same Republicans


“Greenshoe: A provision contained in an underwriting agreement that gives the underwriter the right to sell investors more shares than originally planned by the issuer. This would normally be done if the demand for a security issue proves higher than expected. Legally referred to as an over-allotment option.” — Investopedia


In attacking Dems and in their own policies’ defense,

Republicans often praise folk wisdom and common sense.


But the insist business is complex, and high finance hard,

So you can’t just play the common sense card.


Never mind that our government complexity

Is one that understandably produces perplexity.


Our government is more complex than any business ever.

Throwing out folkish homilies is no help whatsoever.


And Republicans who delight in attacking our public bureaucracy?

Please, worshippers of the JC, spare us your hypocrisy.


Republicans love to play the common sense card when it comes to the government and economic policy, justifying their policies based on how household budgets, credit cards, and small family businesses work. Of course, the government and our macroeconomic economy are far different animals that a household budget, credit card, or family business, but no matter.

But when it comes to Big Business (and especially Wall Street and the world of high finance), their attitude changes entirely. The public–and even those in government who don’t agree with business interests on the issue at hand–don’t understand business and finance (not agreeing is prima facie evidence of not understanding), and are therefore unqualified to voice an opinion. No, managing the complex affairs of the world of finance must be reserved for the cognoscenti, to those members of the priesthood who have been initiated into its wonders.

So much for good ol’ common sense.


Here’s Up’s 5/26/12 panel discussion.

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