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Did Senate Show Character in Passing the Stock Act? Can We Do the Same for ARS?

Posted by Larry Doyle on February 2, 2012 11:03 PM |

To know what is right and not do it is the worst cowardice.  ~Confucius

Did the United States Senate do the right thing today and show real character in passing the Stock Act (Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge Act…aka, Stop Insider Trading in Congress!!)?

Let’s come back to that question.

The simple fact is the Stock Act was first introduced SIX YEARS ago. How is it that this piece of legislation languished for so long and now passes the Senate by a vote of 96-3? 

Very simply, this piece of legislation received tremendous attention on Capitol Hill ONLY as a result of an expose on CBS’ 60 Minutes. That expose created a groundswell of support and forced Congress to act ONLY because everybody on Capitol Hill and in the country was focused on it because of the show.

Going back to our initial question. Did the Senate show real character in passing the Stock Act? Of course NOT.

Character is what people are when no one is watching!!

What the passage of this Stock Act confirms is just how accurate Confucius was as highlighted above. We certainly do have a whole host of cowards atop Capitol Hill. 

If in fact we need dramatic public exposure of issues in order to get Congress and/or regulators to move, then I ask readers what other issues would they like to see addressed?

Please do not be bashful. Do not discount the power of the internet and topics going viral.

May I throw out a suggestion.

How many people in our audience would hope that there is a full blown expose of the auction-rate securities scam? Think if a documentary of that sort were to be broadcast that it may go viral and truly pressure regulators and in turn those institutions which have not yet made investors whole in their cash-surrogate ARS? You think?

How many people in our audience would like to see a show like that? Shall we see if we can make cowards of them once again?

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

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