In the wake of a $2 billion loss by JPMorganChase—which the company’s CEO says won’t stop it from having a profitable quarter
—a presidential spokesman found an opportunity to praise new financial regulations:
"We can't prevent bad decisions from being made on Wall Street. What was so important about rules being put into place through Wall Street reform is that we can prevent the taxpayer
from bearing the burden," [Jay] Carney said.
Certainly the government should make sure the taxpayer doesn’t have to cover Chase’s losses. But the only sure way to do that is to establish a wall of separation between bank and state. The losses of fully private enterprises are as private as their profits. It is only the government’s willingness to support banks that puts the taxpayer at risk in their investment decisions—and makes it possible for government to plead self-defense when burdening banks with regulation.