I'm a bit stretched for time, so I'll keep my immediate post-election screed brief. They'll be plenty of opportunity for bloviatory bombast and cheap shot artistry over the next four years, inasmuch as the agony of the last year of campaigning has left us on November 7th in pretty much the same screwed state of affairs we were in on June 6th.
Selfishly, I was cheered to see this morning that Princess Spouting Bull will be staking her Tipi on the same sacred soil on Capitol Hill that is very close to that soon to be vacated by Frodo Frank, the Hobbit from the same happy hunting grounds that Ms. Lizzie now calls "home" since her family fled The Nation lo these many moons ago. The bonus of forcing "Mr. Cosmo" to drive his dirty 4-by-4 back to the land of Birkenstock-wearing cod-crunchers only enhances the pristine beauty of the moment. The only thing that would make me even more energized for another four years of delivering fist-fulls of snark would be to see Sheila Bair running for any national office in 2014. ANY office.
Forget about repealing Dodd-Frank or any part of it. It's here to stay, and so is the CFPB. As to the latter, expect the jack-booted minions to pull out the spit shine and get down to the business of serious buffing and waxing. After spending all year wondering whether they might have to polish their resumes, they've got no less than two years of tenure and likely much, much, more. Like facing The Plague in the 13th Century, you can either bring out your dead each morning and try to survive until nightfall each day as best you can in a scary world, or you can just decide that those multiples of book are looking awfully good, as are the tax-free beaches in Belize, cash in your chips, and run for your ever-lovin' lives. As for me, I wouldn't miss this end game any more than I would have had I been a citizen of Rome in 44 B.C. and watched the Caesars and their rapacious soul mates take down the Republic. I figure we've got the rest of this century left to run on the fumes of a half-remembered (and quickly fading) past, and I'll be writhing in Purgatory by then (if I'm lucky). Until that time, it's going to be a hell of a show. Sorry about the kids, though.
A final, very preliminary thought: if any of you think the CFPB might be the poster child for potential regulatory abuse or high-handed legal thuggery, they simply haven't had the opportunity to gain traction yet. Sure, with time, they'll sharpen the long knives to a fine edge, but they're simply not there. No, for the near term, I'd watch the old pros in the federal financial institution regulatory agencies. My colleagues and I are seeing tactics we didn't even dream we'd see in the worst of the S&L meltdown of the late 1980s. More on that in the future, but for now, it's time to tend to the hangover.