John Stossel has this piece explaining why more regulation is not the answer to the Bernard Madoff case (this argument applies, of course, pretty much to government regulation of any voluntary behavior).
Bernard Madoff has ignited predictable calls for more regulation.
The "massive fraud … was made possible in part because the regulators who
were assigned to oversee Wall Street dropped the ball," said President-elect
Notice the disconnect. Regulation failed, so we need more regulation. I see
it differently. Regulation failed, so let's try free markets. That would be a
Of course, when a regulatory agency fails, the usual response is to make it
bigger, not abolish it. Economist Robert Murphy notes, "In the private sector, when a firm
fails, it ceases operations. The opposite happens in government. There is
literally nothing a government agency could do that would make the talking heads
on the Sunday shows ask, 'Should we just abolish this agency? Is it doing more
harm than good?'
Yet another instance demonstrating how government growth is inevitable. When something fails, it is made bigger. By that criteria, we can reasonably conclude that there's been a lot of government failure in the last few generations.