Drain those brains

Remember that bit about how Obama appeared to have a bit of populist in him? I think I wrote too fast:

President Obama is aiming to water down Democratic proposals on pay caps for banking executives because he fears a “brain drain” on Wall Street. In a move that has angered leaders of his own party, the President has indicated his concern that new caps on compensation — inserted into his $787 billion stimulus Bill, which he signs into law today – are too draconian and could limit banks’ co-operation with his plan to stabilise the stricken financial sector.

Draining Wall Street of its brains would be a positive step for the economy. Actually, shutting down Wall Street, allowing entrepeneurs to sell shares directly to interested investors over the Internet, and getting the government out of the capital business entirely would probably be one of the proactive measures that might actually end this contraction sooner rather than later.

UPDATE: The tide continues to ebb and we see who else has been walking around naked:

Stopping what it called a “massive ongoing fraud,” the Securities and Exchange Commission on Tuesday accused Robert Allen Stanford, the chief of the Stanford Financial Group, of fraud in the sale of about $8 billion of high-yielding certificates of deposit held in the firm’s bank in Antigua.

What, there was something fishy about high-yield Antiguan CDs? Really? What will shock us next, the discovery that the import/export firm with the branch office in Medellin is selling coke?