figuring out what's been going on with washington and the fed treasury seems like going down a set of blind trails. much of it is kept secret.
william d. cohan, currently a writer for bloomberg financial, was a wall street banker for 17 years. 8 years ago, he left banking to write books about wall street and the collapse of bear stearns and a book about goldman sachs.
he figured that the sec, the fed, state department, and other arms of government, would have lots of valuable pertinent information.
under the freedom of information act, cohan asked for it. his experience has been consistently a refusal to deliver the information. well after the goldman book was published, they made a big act of sending him a disk and a padded envelope with lots of stickers on it with what he had hoped would be information on how goldman and morgan stanley became bank holding companies on sept. 22, 2008, and lehman brothers was not, which remains a mystery to this day.
in this disk, which arrived 9 months after the book was published, was public information, and nothing more.
it could all have been found on a fed website or the goldman sachs balance sheets in the past year. what he received was useless junk, portrayed as an answer to 'your request.'
this was part of a consistent pattern.
each agency acts differently, but the answers and results remain the same.
the agencies, after delays, always call up and ask "do you still want it?"
they always give or sell him nothing.
bloomberg questioned the fed as to who was borrowing at the fed window during the crisis, which became a major court case which bloomberg won.
they received important and valuable info about who was borrowing from the fed and in what amounts in 2008-9 during the peak of the financial crisis.
for a lone journalist and without court orders, they will not provide the information.
the sec is serious stuff. as a regulator, they get between the justice department and the sec, cutting deals with people.
mary shapiro was appointed by the president to head sec. and 'open the agency up.'
the president gave a speech about opening the agencies up to the public and make, under the freedom of information act, more financial news available.
it didn't begin with the obama administration.
they will not give reporters the information they desire, friendly or unfriendly.
mr. cohan is a registered democrat, obama voter, and open supporter.
ms. shapiro was the head of finra, the self regulatory agency on wall street.
as a going away present,when she left to become head of the sec, finra gave shapiro a $9 million bonus.
is there any surprise that someone who just got $9 million from the wall street self-regulatory organization has little, if any, enthusiasm for persuing prosecutions or investigations against wall street firms or individuals, or sharing inside nformation.
the sec's chief enforcement officer, robert khuzami, used to be the general counsel for deutsche bank america, one of the biggest manufacturers and marketers of mortgage backed securities and cdo's and the crap that unsuspecting investors bought and helped to cause the financial crisis.
prosecuted deutsche bank in any way, or will he? you know the answer to that question.
many folks were expecting change they could believe in.
by appointing people like shapiro and khuzami, nothing at all, no change whatsoever.
when mary shapiro was head of the cftc of the chicago options exchange, she was something less than useless. she was like a tick on a dog.
what is wrong? is this not an area of the president's expertise, doesn't he want to slap the hands of his big financial supporters, or did he just make the 'safe' choices?
regulation of the financial area is worse than 4 years ago.
at a moment when wall street needed serious reform, we got more of the good old boys gang, the ultimate in status quo.
much of the problem was created when the sec was 'unlead' by chistopher cox, an appointee of the bush administration.
everyone knew it needed reform; who did obama appoint to do the job?
whatever the reason, he listened to some really really bad advice.
no one is held accountable.
the coziness that has too long gone on between wall street and washington too long may never end.
the president talks eloquently and forcefully about the need for financial reform, but appoints status quo people to these important jobs in a time of financial crisis.
the press is really easy on these people.
nowhere in the bernie madoff fiasco was arthur levitt, the man who created bernie madoff. madoff was given the head of the nasdaq electronic eschange by arthur levitt, then nasdaq president, who also became an sec chairman.
madoff was a crook from the get go.
people on the exchange and in the pits 20 years ago knew that madoff was a crook.
people who tried to shut him down early on were stone walled by the sec.
levitt, instead, began to promote him.
"HOW COULD A MAN IN THAT POSITION BE A CROOK."
what is, and has, the sec been doing? the sec's main job, as i understand it, is to protect investors.
jon corzine, head of embattled mf global, former governot of new jersey, was kicked out of goldman sachs.
he bought a new jersey senatorship; he then bought the jersey governorship.
he tried to rebuy the governorship and lost.
he then went to mf global, turns it inside out, and into bankruptcy, with billions disappearing, which will never be traced. corzine, a big political fundraiser and donor, will never spend one night in jail.
nobody knows what happened to these billions. corzine certainly doesn't know. people in the functionary roles of mf global claim not to know what happened to the billions.
functionaries of the wall street crisis in 2008 repeated the disastrous trades at mf global in 2011. they knew better.
farmers and small business people are suffering as a result of corzine's bad behavior.
where is the accountability? there is none, nor will there be.
no accountability is the theme and will remain the theme, no matter who is president.
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