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Wall Street Protects the American Dream

As the great debate begins on financial reform, Main Street has to realize the limits of regulation if the American Dream is going to be preserved.

Our Republican brothers having fallen before the scythe of temporary public opinion, the debate in the Senate has at last been joined.

Today we line up behind Team Lloyd and strap on our best pinstripe, wing-tips and chrome domes. The future of irrational, unseemly wealth is at stake. We have partied hard in the past and awakened to some bad mornings after. But those cotton-mouths sunrises have done nothing to dim our resolve to hit the scene again as soon as we possibly can. And no ugly mother in a cheap Washington suit is going to tell us otherwise, right? I can't hear you!

The nation stands at one behind us. Okay, not right now, maybe -- but America's not gonna like it if the party really stops, that's for sure. Because while spending any time at all looking at us on TV might make you sick, we're still the only ones who can make you rich. Rich beyond your wildest dreams! Maybe not today, or next week, but soon, and for the rest of your lives! You want to give that up? We don't think so.

That's why we're gonna fight for our right to par-tay! And we know in the end you're gonna stand behind us, ladies and gentlemen of Main Street, not those bummer dudes who want the music to stop forever. We hold your upside in our hands and always have. And you know it, right? Can we hear you say Yeah? Yeah!

All those things you're angry about right now aren't abuses at all. They're rights we exercise in order to bring you the American Dream, which is now a global one. And we now assert those rights and will stand, shoulder to shoulder, to make sure they receive the protection they deserve to keep our System safe against those who would destroy it. Regulate us? Of course. Regulate away. Nobody's against regulation.

But do not limit our ability to bet against our own products. That's the way the system works. There are two schools of thought on any investment. We want to represent both. You will see that on page 187 of our offering release on the Babaloo Fund, for instance, there is a disclaimer in Footnote iiiv informing careful readers of the various interlocking derivative nucleatides we have in motion on this. Perhaps it could have been larger. We'll do that next time. But don't mess with our right to hedge. If we can't hedge, an enormous leg of our industry will be ripped from its socket and the giant will tumble down for good. You want to see the Market at 3000 again? We know you don't.

We also have to take huge risks with other people's money. Many of those dollars reside in 401Ks, retirement accounts, the cash the little people of the world save up as an umbrella for a rainy day. If we can't use those piles of money, what would we do? Use our own? Be serious. Our own money we have stashed in insured triple tax-free municipal bonds! It's your money that needs to be at a very high level of risk if we're going to return the profits that you demand! And we're all about you! You're the customer! You rule!

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That's why we must, absolutely, retain our right to build new, inventive, creative houses of cards that tower above the puny, restrictive edifices built by prior generations. To do that, our financial institutions have to be free! As free as the wind blows. As free as the grass grows. Born free to follow the opportunities that can only be realized when banks are also brokerages, brokerages are also lenders, lenders are also capable of doing everything but your windows. This gives us the ability to see the cards about to fall before other people do, and to profit from it. Personally. Even if you don't.

Which is why we're not going to let Washington get in the way of our compensation. You know how hard what we do is? We need the best and the brightest on board to make sure all goes well, and even if it doesn't, well, then we need them even more. I guess if you bail us out, we'd be willing to take a small haircut that year. Who said we weren't flexible?

Speaking of bailouts, we don't want any limit on those, either. It's nice to know the Government is there when we need it, but not when we don't. Try eliminating bailouts and see what happens to your portfolio the day that bill passes.

Also, in the future, we want to get back to lending money to people who don't deserve it. Not right now. We want everybody to forget what happened the last couple of years. But soon. You want that too, don't you? Sure you do. Admit it. You certainly don't want any Beltway bureaucrat stopping you from buying that million dollar home if you can swing it someday.

And finally, we want to charge people to borrow money while paying nothing to borrow it ourselves. That is the foundation of our recovery. Don't mess with that.

Oh, and leave our credit card operations alone.

Beyond that, we're open to any good financial reform you have in mind. Go ahead. We're listening.