While casually listening to a money-manager panel discussion on The Kudlow Report on CNBC one evening, I was brought to full attention when I heard one money manager opine that the motivation for the Securities and Exchange Commission's intransigence in refusing to waive regulations requiring mark-to-market accounting was so as to ensure the collapse of U.S. financial institutions; this, in turn, would lead to their nationalization by the U.S. government. Having taken control of these institutions, the panelist continued, the U.S. government would then dispense with mark-to-market requirements, using the disingenuous excuse that these requirements were not longer necessary in the absence of the private investors holding any residual interest. Waiving mark-to-market requirements, he concluded, would lead to a significant upward revaluation in these institutions by financial markets; the U.S. government would then pocket this huge financial windfall and use it to further nationalize more industry. In effect, by...

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