Friday, October 23, 2020
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My Two Cents: Bill to End the Independence of the SEC...

I have sat on this post for several days. But this information must be shared, no matter how uncomfortable it makes us. We learned in 2007-8 what lax oversight means to this country. If we hoped for any lasting future protections from predatory practices, they were dashed this past week with news of the following Editorial Board editorial from the New York Times. Here we learn that the independence of critical protections are at stake.

For all its rabid partisanship, Congress has shown time and again that it is willing to come together to deregulate corporate America. The latest example is a new bill in the Senate that would effectively end the independence of independent regulatory agencies, including the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the Consumer Product Safety Commission and the National Labor Relations Board.

And you know the hijacked (by the Tea Party) House of Representatives will be eager to pass such predation should it pass the Senate. It is bad enough that Dodd-Frank under-protected us, but for Senators to try to weaken even that bill is inexcusable. Making the commissions and Bureaus less independent will do just that. And the SEC isn't the only entity the senators have taken aim at. Strikingly, Virginians have one of their our own to "thank" for this: US Senator Mark Warner. He is joined by Rob Portman and Susan Collins.

(See below for who to contact for help on that matter.)

Justice probe of Goldman goes beyond deals cited by SEC

is the title of this breaking story which went up on the Washington Post web site at 8:43 EDT this evening. Citing law enforcement sources, the article notes in its second graf:
The Justice Department probe began weeks ago and is essentially on a parallel track with the SEC investigation, the sources said. While prosecutors and investigators are focusing on some of the same mortgage-related transactions as the SEC, the sources said, the Justice Department has cast a wider net.

Further down we read

The U.S. attorney's office in Manhattan and the FBI are conducting the criminal probe, which sources said has been underway for weeks. Sources said a decision on whether to file any charges has not been made.

The Religion of Bilk-For-Greed

How cathartic to listen to the alpha wolves of Wall Street explain themselves to their servants in Congress. How amusing to watch those servants nip at the heels of their disdainful masters. It is a masters class in gingerly executed subservience-on-a-leash. It is a masters class in bilking.

Bilking, it would seem, the universe, of which the wolves styled themselves The Masters.  Who were the bilkees? Begin with the immediate clients of the wolves, their fellow big investor-firms domestic and foreign,  who likewise imagined themselves to be super-experts in investing, their sophistication so far above the common herd, the sheep, that only they were capable of appreciating the clever, complicated artistry of the instruments peddled to them by the likes of Goldman Sachs, that pinnacle of pinnacles. Next came the customers of the salesmen of those firms, who can be called the running dogs of Wall Street that pretended to be wolves but were a tier or two (or three) down, in among the pack in offices around the globe, who sold these instruments to purchasers like municipal school boards, pension and retirement funds, local governments world-wide, and to individuals everywhere