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‘Occupy Wall Street’ Should ‘Occupy Washington’

Posted by Larry Doyle on October 7, 2011 11:53 AM |

Is Wall Street the center of all the problems in America?

Many of those involved in the “Occupy Wall Street’ demonstrations may think so.

I strongly believe that they are wrong.

Those with a keen ‘sense on cents‘ understand that Wall Street does embody part of our national problems. They also appreciate that the stench that overhangs Wall Street is consistent with an incestuous and far stronger odor emanating from Washington. As the slow motion train wreck which is our nation’s economy continues to play out, I exhort those currently railing on Wall Street to spend a greater amount of time focused on Washington.

Those feeling disenfranchised may find it convenient to cast aspersions at the big bad banks. There is no doubt that the financial industry deserves much of the derision directed its way. The fraudulent nature of selected business practices on Wall Street deserve to be fully exposed and prosecuted. Firms and individuals should be held accountable.

All this said, the MUCH BIGGER story is exposing the incestuous nature of the relationship between Wall Street and Washington from BOTH sides of the political aisle.

The shoddy if not illicit business practices on Wall Street were facilitated by regulators and legislators whom had been ‘captured‘ by the industry. This ‘capturing’, or as Sense on Cents entitles it, this Wall Street-Washington Incest, has gone on for a long time.

That fact leads me to ask the following question:

1. Who is backing the ‘Occupy Wall Street’ movement?

2. Who is looking to profit politically from the civil unrest centered in this movement?

3. Is there any doubt that this movement is promoting class warfare?

Wake Up, America!!

The fact is politicians from both sides of the aisle have largely sold us down the river while they themselves have willingly and lavishly fed at the trough provided by Wall Street.

You don’t think so. Then I ask you the following questions and am happy to provide links to stories and materials supporting this premise.

1. What is the nature of President Barack Obama’s relationship with Franklin Raines and James Johnson, the executives who effectively plundered Fannie Mae? Read on…..Sense on Cents/Franklin Raines, Sense on Cents/James Johnson

2. Who encouraged Washington to ‘roll the dice’ on sub-prime mortgage originations and was engaged in a deep relationship—literally and figuratively—with those at Freddie and Fannie? None other than Barney Frank. Read on….Sense on Cents/Barney Frank

3. Who really regulates Wall Street? Merely the SEC? Do not be so naive. Wall Street to a very large extent is a self-regulated industry. The SRO is an entity known as the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). How is it that President Obama appointed Mary Schapiro, the former head of FINRA, to resurrect the SEC? Does it look like a revolving door to you? It does to me. Especially when you learn that the new head of FINRA, Richard Ketchum, came from….you guessed it…the SEC. You do not have insiders clean up a mess unless you prefer to keep things quiet. Read on…..Sense on Cents/FINRA………Sense on Cents/Mary Schapiro….

4. Might you be interested in learning about what I have defined as the greatest scam on Wall Street? Madoff, right? Nope. Allen Stanford, of course, right? Also wrong. Wall Street CDOs? Three strikes. You’re out. In my humble opinion, Wall Street’s greatest scam perpetrated on tens of thousands of ordinary, average, everyday Americans is encompassed in a market segment known as auction-rate securities.

These supposed ‘cash equivalent’ securities were blatantly misrepresented by Wall Street. Going on more than three full years tens of thousands of our fellow citizens are still unable to access their cash. How much cash? Try somewhere to the tune of $100 BILLION. Those in Washington have done little to help our fellow citizens retrieve their cash compared to state regulators. Read on…..Sense on Cents/Auction-Rate Securities

5. Last but not least, while many a politician on the left side of the aisle will clearly look to profit politically from the discontent centered in the ‘Occupy Wall Street” movement, I exhort people to review the campaign contributions of none other than Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Senator John Kerry (D-MA), former Senator Chris Dodd (D-CT), and many more Democrats….and Republicans alike!!

I have not even mentioned the revolving door between our regulators, our legislators, our rating agencies, Washington law firms and our Wall Street banks. Conflicts of interest and a little quid pro quo? You think? Maybe just a little?

I define people who have lined their pockets with Wall Street money on the one hand only to join forces with those who would rail on Wall Street with the other as FAKERS if not much worse!!

I am a registered Independent. My allegiance is to our nation and the virtues of truth, transparency, and integrity.

As a Wall Street veteran I make no excuses for bad practices within the financial industry. The fact is, though, in order for our country to move forward we need a healthy Wall Street which can provide the needed capital to drive business and job growth.

I do not believe that those who have compromised themselves in the past by engaging in what I define as Wall Street-Washington incest  are capable or qualified to lead our nation.

I hope the extensive links provided here along with other written work compiled over the last three years will help direct the focus appropriately.

Navigate accordingly.

Questions, comments, constructive criticisms always encouraged and appreciated.

Larry Doyle

Isn’t it time to  subscribe to all my work via e-mail, an RSS feed, on Twitter or Facebook? Do your friends, family, and colleagues a favor and get them to do the same. Thanks!!

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, our economy, and our political realm so that meaningful investor confidence and investor protection can be achieved.

  • jaws

    Hey Larry, I don’t think you’ll find much love for Barack Obama or the rest of the corporately controlled democratic party among the Occupy Wall Street crowd. And the Occupy Washington sympathy march was also well attended. One of the biggest motivators for this protest is a sense that our government is bought and payed for by campaign donations. Specifically, the Obama administration’s corporate funders have a clear agenda related to preserving a financial system that has proved personally lucrative but ultimately untenable. As a Wall Street veteran, I’m sure you’re aware that our financial sector is spending more and more time and effort focusing on finding ways to sell financial products (abcp, derivatives, etc.) and less time actually providing capital for industry. The bailouts of 2008 were made necessary by this focus on casino-style capitalism. We are simply asking that in exchange for this bailout, Wall Street be reformed in a way that will prevent this sort of reckless gambling from occurring in the future. We are attacking crony-capitalism. The kind where political donations = bailouts. We are asking our politicians to listen to the people who voted for them, instead of listening exclusively to the people who fund their campaigns. We don’t support the Republicans or Democrats, but we do want real change. We are the 99%. We welcome your support.

    • LD


      Great to read your comments here. I wrote my commentary for the very simple reason that I do believe the Democratic Party is looking to hijack or otherwise manipulate this movement for its benefit.

      As you can ascertain here, I view both sides of the aisle as equally culpable in this mess.

      There is certainly no need to debate the minutiae. The big picture requires us to elevate the pursuit of the truth, total transparency, and unbridled integrity. To that end, I hope you will share my work with others involved in your initiative.

      I will inform you that more than a little of what I highlight is shunned if not outright neglected by the general media.

      In regard to Crony Capitalism, here you go Sense on Cents/Crony Capitalism

      Spread the Sense on Cents….and let’s take back our country…

    • fred


      LD is right, you talk a good game, but, I for one, remain skeptical of ‘Occupy Wall Street’s’ true intent.

      So far ‘Occupy Wall Street’ is said to lack specifics and focus. Why are ‘big unions’ now jumping on board, are they trying to align themselves with the public interest? Beware, doesn’t ‘big unions’ support make this cause political via the union endorsement process?

      Jaws, as LD suggested, why not take on the Auction Rate Securiites scam?

      Why not ‘honestly’ expand ‘demonstation’ wrath to include Washington; specifically, the SEC, FINRA, Congress, The Fed, White House and the ‘lobby system of influence’?

      Billions have been pumped into the banking system by the Fed via QE and by the Gov’t thru TARP, but, who did the pumping and who was/is responsible for enforcing banking regulation? Who allowed banks to make bad residential mortgages and who is now allowing banks to deny refis to ‘fully current’ residential mortgages. Who allows big banks to pay neg real rates of returns on money market deposits or charge excessive fees to access our money at the ATM?

      What say you Jaws, we are all angry and frustrated; look what’s happening to our country! BUT Jaws, not all of us are easily led and manipulated. You have yet to prove to us that you motives are honest and you’re not just another mutation of the continuing problem of the Washington-Wall Street Incest.

  • lizzy

    Great to see you back LD. Accurate description of the culpability on all sides with almost no redress or real reform.

  • Peter Sivere

    Hi Larry,

    Welcome back.


  • LD: Recommended

    Regarding my point in this commentary about Mary Schapiro and the SEC, how interesting that today’s Washington Post runs, SEC Under Schapiro Struggles to Turn Around Amid Political, Financial Headwinds,

    On Schapiro’s watch, federal judges and other critics have accused the Securities and Exchange Commission of accepting feeble settlements in major cases of alleged corporate wrongdoing. The cases have reinforced the impression that the SEC lacks not only the means but also the mind-set to hold powerful wrongdoers accountable, perhaps because the agency is too close to the world it oversees.

    Too close to the world it oversees? Sounds like a polite way of saying “regulatory capture” or as Sense on Cents maintains, “Wall Street-Washington Incest”!!

  • Peter S.

    And then there are SROs. No bark, no bite. No jail, no fine, only an invisible scarlet letter imposed upon those committing securities fraud full well knowing it is shamelessly worn as a badge of courage.

    And left to their own devices (SROs),…once again the failure of those regulators capture by the
    by the Wall Street…

  • Small BD Firm

    What about “Occupy Supreme Court?” Our activist Roberts court gratuitously (i.e. with complete disregard of precedent) handed corporations the right to purchase any senator or congressman they choose.

  • Gamma


    How could anybody hope to occupy Wall Street, there is no room there anymore. Rather than complaining, if folks are frustrated they should spend their energy focusing on an analysis and public reporting of whether their local elected representatives are truly acting as public servants.

    The greatest systemic and economic risk to our nation is that our bloated legislative and administrative process has been whored by lobbyists, special interests, and rule-buyers.

    Until that process is fixed our nation will get what it asks for, continuing to choke like a crack-whore on the pimped output. A stark reality, and not the brand of capitalism that anyone can reasonably defend any longer.

  • Beth

    Let’s hope OWS is a pure form of anger that has come from Main St regarding Wall Street’s greed and has little to do w/ funding from other sources.

  • Cate

    Welcome back Larry. Nice to see your ‘guns-a-blazin’ in this post. And spot on as usual. Indeed, let’s take America back from all the Fakers before it’s too late!

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