Thursday, October 29, 2009

Harper's Magazine Stories 02

The original story - It's about a reform committee comprised of all the people that caused the problems in the first place. Direct from the article at

Everyone rational knows that there is an enormous need to seriously reform the derivatives market, but the committee, headed by Congressman Barney Frank (D-Wall Street), invited a panel of eight guests who were distinguished by their uniformly pro-industry positions. They included Jon Hixson of Cargill, James Hill of Morgan Stanley (on behalf of the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association), Stuart Kaswell of the Managed Funds Association (which, through one of its lobbyists, has delivered significant “bundled” donations to Frank) and Christopher Ferreri of the Wholesale Markets Brokers Association.

Then some concerned citizens didn't think this was a balanced committee so someone else, Rob Johnson of the Roosevelt Institute, was called in last-minute (the night before the meeting). His opening statement was (more or less) "I'm here to represent the taxpayer" as soon as he said this, the rest of the committee cut his speaking time short, at less than 5 minutes. This was after everyone else had plenty of time to say (more or less) "regulation would make prices for things like flour and chicken fluctuate uncontrollably." This guy, representing the taxpayer, did however write up a full report, identifying weaknesses and unfairness of Frank's Bill, but it was never posted or included anywhere because he didn't have it ready at this meeting. Read his report here in PDF format.

Frank's Bill basically states big banks can do whatever they want with money - federal or state laws don't apply to them, they are exempt from Federal anti-fraud or anti-manipulation requirements, exempt from state gaming and anti-bucket shop laws, their trades do not need to be reported (this way they can't find evidence to prosecute fraud or manipulation charges, if they applied).

They can launder, extort, and manipulate money at will and never be subject to tax regulation or law. Oh - and they won't allow small, honest banks to exist. They're pushing hard for a One World Bank. Bankers rule most of the world - Read here - skip down to the Tally Stick.

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