Wednesday, December 17, 2008

So Resign

Now. End of conversation. You've been running the SEC for over three years, and a financial Katrina just happened on your watch.

Until the public demands an accountability-based system that provides for the swift removal and where appropriate the prosecution of present and former public officials who fail so profoundly, the current system will slip deeper into a socialistic morass -- unproductive for private investment, and unsafe for personal savings.

20 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Say what you want about China...but over there, they would have publicly executed the heads of the SEC.

Over here we only execute people who ruin the lives of two or three people.

12/17/2008 5:24 AM  
Blogger res ipsa loquitur said...

Until the public demands an accountability-based system...

I think the public -- at least the non-wingnut public -- has demanded an accountability-based system, but they've been ignored the last eight years. I remember people howling when Cox was put in charge of the SEC, but BushCo just ignored us. Oh, I think the public is definitely ready for this, but the media? Well, they're busy with neverending "questions" about Barack Obama's "connections" with Rod Blagojovich.

12/17/2008 7:37 AM  
Anonymous Jacob said...

nice post

12/17/2008 8:18 AM  
Anonymous e. nonee moose said...

Heckuva job, Coxie!

12/17/2008 8:59 AM  
Blogger montag said...

Hear, hear!

Why is there no accountability?
Simple.
Accountability implies someone has done wrong. If there is no moral sense, no one is even vaguely aware of what the notion of "wrong", much less "right", means.

12/17/2008 9:14 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You must not be aware of how things work today. You either stonewall and never admit you did anything wrong (Bush), or you admit that mistakes were made (without actually saying that you made them), and you say "I take full responsibility" then you do nothing to actually take responsibility (Alberto Gonzales).

12/17/2008 9:39 AM  
Blogger Dave S. said...

What do you mean, resign? Cox just jumped up three spots in the Medal of Freedom line.

12/17/2008 10:14 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It sounds like the SEC STILL would NOT have gotten Madoff, if he hadn't actually confessed. That was nice of him. But does he realize how many people he hurt? Does he care? What's he going to do about it?

If a former Nasdaq chairman is this rotten to the core, and he represented the creme at the top, the leadership... Icks! Trickle down ethics? Every money manager, every family member that worked for him, every trust fund manager, who was touched by Madoff either is also corrupt, or they didn't do their job.

Many average Joe's and Jane's get swindled every day, collectively it's a lot, and to Joe and Jane it's everything they have. The average Joe and Jane knew Wall Street was corrupt, but had no impact to change the game. Even their Representatives were representing the corruption on Wall Street. It feels like people are madder at Madoff. Is that because he dared to steal from rich people, and now it matters? Why is Madoff still on the street?

Paul Krugman's blog entry talks about the Fed's action. #12 and #16 get it: "Bernanke can print dollars, but he can’t print trust or honesty, and that is why there is no easy remedy to our current distress. Until the culture of lying is driven out of most economically significant organizations, no amount of financial manipulation or economic theory will resolve this crisis."

I think of Tom Delay, Bill Frist, Denny Hastert, Newt Gingrich and the things that they said and did to build the foundation, the environment, for this absolute corrupt mess. Gingrich is all for pay to play. What could be a more corrupt idea in a Representative Democracy. Bush and this administration were the worse administration to have at this time. The doors to hell were ajar, but they just pulled the handle and opened them wide. Of all the lies in the Bush/Cheney administration: If lying to go to war is okay, exactly what isn't okay?

12/17/2008 10:51 AM  
Anonymous goldhorder said...

You left out Phil Gramm. But Bill Clinton, Chuck Schumer, John Kerry, Chris Dodd, Barney Frank, etc...are also nothing but whores of the Wall Street banks and helped bring us to this point also.

12/17/2008 2:33 PM  
Anonymous fledermaus said...

Please, if he promised vigorous enforcement of SEC rules he never would have gotten the job in the first place. The ability to look the other way was the prime qualification.

12/17/2008 4:41 PM  
Anonymous NeilS said...

I think that we should look farther than just Cox. Look at the history of the SEC under Bush.

First chair was Harvey Pitt, an lobbyist for investment firms.

Next was Donaldson, from Wall Street. As I recall there was some push for candidate more likely to enforce oversight. This was resisted by the Bush administration.

Finally, Chris Cox, who had long been an advocate of loose oversight. This is not a condemnation in itself. He truly thought this was the best policy. Apparently, he was wrong.

The Bush family has a long history with finance. Just read Kevin Phillips.

The end of GWB's presidency is just like the end of every one of his ventures: everyone involved loses their shirt and he walks away.

12/17/2008 7:14 PM  
Anonymous Hairhead said...

"Socialistic morass?" Where the HELL did that come from? The last eight years of the SEC has been a wet-dream of LAISSEZ-FAIRE capitalism. And it's the laissez-faire part of the system that has made it "unproductive for private investment and unsafe for personal savings."

How about waiting for an actual "socialist" system to be applied and found wanting before wailing about the Bolsheviks?

Really, in general I respect your point of view, Mr. Cunning Realist, coming as it does from actual experience in the world of modern finance -- but sometimes you seem to channel some decades-out-of-date Commie-bating spirit.

12/17/2008 8:23 PM  
Blogger The Cunning Realist said...

I suspect you feel differently, but I'd rather not wait for any more socialism than we're seeing right now before deciding if I like it.

12/17/2008 8:38 PM  
Anonymous KAIMU said...

ALOHA !!

You cannot have Capitalism without Capitalists. Name me one Fortune 500 company who does not either directly or indirectly profit from US government contracts or now US government BAILOUTS? Which one? Anyone out there know of any?

What we really have here is Counterfeit Capitalism, where the monetary system of unending dilution and deficits make any attempt at Capitalism an absolute dismal failure. For businesses to try and forecast supply and demand and the where intricacies of their Balance Sheets will need to be by 2010 is like a game of darts underwater ... you're lucky if you can even hit the board or see it. As long as the global currencies are built upon shifting sands(floating)there is never enough stability or store of value in terms of long term pricing.

Do what you will with the SEC or any other "social inequity" in the USA but you can never restore stability in markets until you restore honest money. What we have now is nowhere close to money. Since 1913 the US Dollar as exemplified by the Federal Reserve Note has failed miserably. It is time for the US FED to go ... Not just BEN but the entire US FED and its member banks, They are in essence ... middlemen! Who needs them? Its our money and we do not need them or their terms to hand it out! They are laughable at best ...


GOVERNMENT IS ONLY AS HONEST AS ITS MONEY ...

12/18/2008 12:19 AM  
Anonymous Hairhead said...

Mr. Realist, please don't make assumptions about me: I own a small business, and I believe strongly in REGULATED capitalism, the rule of law, bribery as a crime, all things you seem to believe in. Rather than just say "socialism!" the way warmongers say "Booga booga!" to the scare the proles, why don't you say exactly what a "socialistic morass" would be? Would it be France? Canada? The Congo? North Korea? China?

Please tell us, and I am serious about this, what would be worse than the current excesses and crimes. Your opinion carries some weight.

12/18/2008 3:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am no economist. I don't own a business. Many would consider my income modest, at best. For my career, I chose education. I teach high school English and, at times like these, take pride in the knowledge that I earn an honest paycheck for an honest day's work.

From where I'm standing, the corruption has become so complete, so comprehensive, that it calls into question one's ability to make an honest living anymore. What little I have managed to save and invest has been set back five or six years. And as the recession continues to expose more instances of corruption, it becomes plainly evident to an increasing number of people that perpetual "growth," as conceived by Friedman and the like, ultimately comes at the expense of someone else - or all of us, depending on how you look at it.

What we need is a new concept, a new goal, a new idea of what a healthy free-market economy is meant to provide. I'm not convinced that "growth" at any cost is an ideology that we can afford anymore.

12/18/2008 8:28 AM  
Blogger GoldenScrooge said...

To the above. The sad thing is none of you understand what Kaimu just said. You don't get it. The reason we need perpetual growth
is because we have perpetual inflation. The reason we have perpetual inflation is so the government and the wall street banks can steal as much as it wants from the American public through the printing of money and the fractional reserve banking system. The reason we are in a depression right now is that the fractional reserve banking system is contracting. Rather than leveraging assets at a traditionally "safe" 10 to 1. They leveraged their assets 30...40..even higher to one. They are all crooks. They took these incredible risks with this leveraging partly because the biggest banks knew the government would get the taxpayers to bail them out. Then they could start all over again. LOL. The federal reserve bank owns the counterfeiting machine. They get the bad money first. They take the value of the money people and honest business has
saved through inflation and the creation of money through the fractional reserve banking process. What killed the ability to save in the US and what causes the need for perpetual growth is the federal reserve bank and the US federal government. Their ambition and greed takes more and more from productive people and puts it into the hands of favored government contractors and Wall Street Banks. This is not capitalism. This is National Socialism...this economy closely resembles that of Mussolini's Italy. The only different is rather than having a fascist leader you are allowed to
vote for Wall Street Candidate A or Wall Street Candidate B. Ain't democracy grand. I would suggest reading
Murray Rothbard what has government done to our money

This is also the way the US government funds its aggressive wars abroad. They can steal as much as they want from you.

You can't hope to overcome your ignorance by relying on your politicians or the media to educate you. They are all in on it. The wall street banks control them. A progressive liberal by the name of Naomi Klein has begun to see the light recently. She has begun to see the light because she has bothered to educate herself rather than remain in darkness.
Here is a link to an incredible interview done by Lew Rockwell. Listen. Learn. It is podcast #58

www.lewrockwell.com/podcast/

And after you have educated yourself. Start buying gold and silver. If they manage to put humpty dumpty back together again you will have plenty of time to accumulate real savings in gold and silver...Our elites might have one more cycle before the collapse of the US financial system. At some point the asians(mainly China and India) will cut their loses...write us off as a lost cause...and form their own currency not based on the dollar. They'll probably even invite Russia along.

Take a look at the charts on my blog. Can you guess what year the federal reserve cut its last tie to the gold standard? Can you guess? It was only a matter of time before we got to this point. We might have had some fun bubbles...we might have had fun running up our credit cards...but at some point the bill comes due. The bills are coming due.

12/18/2008 3:46 PM  
Blogger Mrs Panstreppon said...

If Meshulam Riklis had been strung up in front of the NYSE the first time he stripped McCrory's assets, the b-school crowd might have thought of something useful to do with their lives.

Instead, the rest of us have had to suffer the consequences of a generation of investors who thought they could go Riklis one better.

If Henry Paulsen or Jon Corzine or Ivan Boesky or Gary Winnick or a host of other crooks ever step in front of car, I will floor it.

12/18/2008 11:19 PM  
Anonymous nil said...

Far be it from me to interrupt the fascinating national socialist wall street banker discussion, but I am wondering if anyone has read Jane Jacobs' Systems of survival. Jane Jacobs is well known for her work on urbanism and city growth, but in Systems of survival she discusses morality in society. She identifies 2 very different value systems: one based on loyalty, hierarchy, tradition, honor, contempt for money, mistrust for outsiders, flair and largesse versus the other one based on openness, thrift, honesty, and the pursuit of material comfort. She argues that the former works well for some organizations such as the military or a government while business and sciences thrive on the latter. Another interesting point she was making (if I remember well) is that each should stay in the realm it is suited for. It is folly to want to run government as a business, with business values: you just get corrupt politicans who betray the country for the right price. Similarly, you don't want scientists ready to lie and cheat for one of their own, you just get bad, dogmatic science.

12/19/2008 12:11 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is convenient... weird... when this kind of stuff starts happening:

Republican IT Specialist Dies in Plane Crash

"A top Republican internet strategist who was set to testify in a case alleging election tampering in 2004 in Ohio has died in a plane crash. Michael Connell was the chief IT consultant to Karl Rove and created websites for the Bush and McCain electoral campaigns. Michael Connell was deposed one day before the election this year by attorneys Cliff Arnebeck and Bob Fitrakis about his actions during the 2004 vote count in Ohio and his access to Karl Rove’s email files and how they went missing."

12/23/2008 12:29 AM  

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