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Where Is the Shame and Outrage?

Posted by Larry Doyle on June 27, 2011 8:54 AM |


Have we as a nation become so numbed by the level of transgressions and incompetence within our financial and political circles that we allow situations deserving of real shame and outrage to pass by with little exposure and highlight?

Perhaps when there are so many situations over a protracted period, the shame and outrage which needs to be directed at so many within our financial and political circles is overwhelmed by so much bulls&%t and pandering.

Sense on Cents has little appetite for the latter and an insatiable appetite for the former in an attempt to promote our virtues of truth, transparency and integrity.

On this note, in the midst of my weekend reading, I came across a few gems which stopped my reading and had me thinking, “you have got to be kidding me!! How the hell does this pass by without greater attention and outrage.” 

On that note, let’s navigate into waters not sufficiently exposed by the media and certainly not appreciated by our incestuous financial and political parasites.

1. What specific details did Madoff trustee Irving Picard learn which prompted him to almost quadruple the size of the claim (from $5.4 billion to $19 billion) he has waged against JP Morgan? If a $19 billion claim is not an implicit indictment that individuals and entities on Wall Street were blindly and effectively complicit in allowing the perpetuation of the Madoff scam, I do not know what is.

Will America allow JP Morgan to negotiate a settlement in a nolo contendere type fashion with no real exposition of ‘who knew what and did little to nothing’ to stop this scam?  We deserve far better than that.

Is this situation further evidence that Wall Street CEOs, such as JP Morgan’s Jamie Dimon, are not even aware of activities which rise to the level of criminal actions within their own firms as alleged by Tufts University professor Amar Bhide and highlighted recently here at Sense on Cents (Amar Bhide Questons Wall Street’s Criminal Enterprise; June 21, 2011)?

2. Did America finally get a semblance of an apology from an individual who was centrally positioned within the Wall Street derivatives space? History has clearly shown that the Wall Street designed and distributed derivatives did not serve to mitigate risk but rather to accelerate risk across our global economic landscape.

Gary Gensler, former partner at Goldman Sachs and current head of the CFTC (Commodity Futures Trading Commission) offered a small olive branch recently. A Bloomberg commentary highlights,

As a Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS) partner and then Treasury undersecretary, Gensler had lined up with the hands-off- derivatives crowd behind the $601 trillion global market.

He says the near-collapse of the world’s financial system changed his mind about regulation.

“My thinking has evolved,” Gensler says in his ninth- floor Washington office, which is decorated with artwork by his three daughters. “I was part of the consensus view on derivatives, and it’s fair to say that the consensus missed it. We should have done more to protect the American people.”

If more should have been done to protect the American people, then why isn’t more currently being done? Why is Wall Street given any quarter in defending the highly profitable but destructive derivatives franchise?

3. Do you get pissed off thinking that our children and children’s children are increasingly stuck with the tab for the political gamesmanship, patronage, and assorted payoffs made by the hacks in Washington and their brethren in state capitols? Business as usual, you say? Bulls&%t!! Throw these bums from both sides of the aisle out!!

My blood boils when I read in The Wall Street Journal, The Local Government Pension Squeeze,

Many cities that have employed budget gimmicks in the past have run out of alternatives. To balance its 2010 budget, Providence, R.I., borrowed some $48 million (using its fire stations as collateral); it also drained most of its reserve fund, which shrank to $3 million from $17 million in one year. But the city remains under severe budget pressure—its annual retiree costs now amount to an astounding 50% of its tax collections, according to a new study from the Rhode Island Expenditure Council.

America can rail on the gross and outrageous financial malfeasance of Bell, California but in a very meaningful fashion our nation is littered with similar travesties. Providence is merely one example.


4. I now STRONGLY believe that for the future well being of our nation that any financial institution which would be defined as SIFI, (Systemically Important Financial Institution) or TBTF (Too Big to Fail), the institution should be broken up. The fact is SIFI and TBTF lie at the heart of the Wall Street oligopoly.

Real capitalism does not thrive and prosper while being dominated by a financial oligopoly. You can rest assured the financial titans on Wall Street would go their grave fighting to maintain their current dominating positions but I strongly disagree. Institutions which have been shown to be unmanageable are not in our nation’s long term interests. Break them up.

What do you think? Do you share my outrage? If so, please comment accordingly. Send your comment and this commentary to those on Wall Street, Washington, and political capitols.

Do it for the kids!!

Larry Doyle

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I have no affiliation or business interest with any entity referenced in this commentary. The opinions expressed are my own. I am a proponent of real transparency within our markets so that investor confidence and investor protection can be achieved.



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