All the talk in Washington these days is about how to protect consumers by enacting financial reform. Maybe it’s time to put this discussion on ice. NHL ice.
The top three seeds of the Eastern Conference were all ousted in the first round of the NHL playoffs. Since the only goal of an NHL team is to prevail in the playoffs and win the Stanley Cup, thousands of fans in Washington, Newark and Buffalo wasted tens of thousands of dollars this year on season tickets.
This sounds like a job for Sen. Chuck Schumer.
The New York Democrat, who may be the next Senate leader of his party (depending on how the fall elections go), has already targeted Spirit Airlines and Facebook this month. Why shouldn’t the Senate act to force the NHL to shorten its meaningless regular season or slash ticket prices for hapless fans?
Well, because hockey fans understand what they’re getting.
Nobody in Washington is celebrating the Capital’s best regular season ever right now. Next fall, some fans may even boo when the team raises its meaningless “President’s Cup 2009-’10” banner. Still, those who bought season tickets did so willingly, understanding that they were watching relatively unimportant games.
The same can be said for those who purchased derivatives from Goldman Sachs. Those investors were betting the housing market would continue to soar. But they knew someone on the other side was betting that market was ready to sink. As it did, to our national chagrin.
This explains why, when it comes to financial reform, lawmakers are on the wrong track. They’ve trying to handle failures on Wall Street by passing a 1,400-page bill written by lobbyists on K Street (which is why the CEO of Goldman supports the Dodd bill). Instead, lawmakers should do something very simple and more productive: get a handle on their own spending.