Thursday, December 18, 2003

Capitalism & Law: Relief Needed From Oxley

Donald Luskin points us to this statement from Rep. Mike Oxley, chairman of the House Financial Service Committee and co-conspirator in the Sarbanes-Oxley act:
“All mutual fund shareholders deserve lower fees. Not just shareholders who invested in funds that engaged in questionable trading practices; not just shareholders invested in one fund family; but all mutual fund shareholders deserve relief from fees that continue to rise.”
Oxley no doubt is trying to steal the thunder of New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer, who has been trying to extort mutual fund companies into lowering their fees. Luskin incredulously asks, “But since when is it any of Congress’ goddamn business to give mutual fund shareholders ‘relief from fees’?” Heck, when is it ever Congress’ job to try and lower consumer prices in any industry. The answer is that it’s not. But that doesn’t stop Congress. Or the White House, for that matter. Just look at any antitrust case, and you’ll see the objective is usually to forcibly lower consumer prices that were “unreasonably” raised by producers.

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