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Posts Tagged ‘CFTC’

CFTC’s Scott O’ Malia ‘Blows The Whistle’

Posted by Larry Doyle on May 8th, 2014 1:19 PM |

What does it say about a regulatory oversight system when individuals from inside start to ‘blow the whistle?’

I think it speaks volumes that all is not well, and somebody better start to really pay attention and take some meaningful action.

A month or so ago we heard from retiring SEC attorney James Kidney voicing real concerns in describing the commission as little more than a “tollbooth on the banksters’ turnpike.” Now we hear CFTC (Commodities Futures Trading Commission) commissioner Scott O’ Malia also blowing the whistle. Let’s navigate as Pensions and Investments highlights O’ Malia’s siren call:  (more…)

Making Swiss Cheese of Derivatives Reform

Posted by Larry Doyle on March 6th, 2014 5:02 AM |

In what would appear to be a classic case of pandering to the public while allowing Wall Street to effectively write its own set of rules and ‘reforms’, we witness this bait and switch tactic within the legislation pitched to the American public as having brought meaningful transparency to the derivatives markets.

Yes, that quadrillion (thousand trillion) sized market with 95% of the concentration in the 5 largest ‘too big to fail’ banks.

Thanks to our friends at POGO for highlighting the following loopholes large enough for a Mack truck: (more…)

Will Whistleblower Protections Suffer at Hands of Rep. Michael Grimm “Reaper” (R-NY)?

Posted by Larry Doyle on February 7th, 2012 11:14 AM |

Representative Michael Grimm (R-NY) was ceremoniously inducted into the Sense on Cents Hall of Shame in May 2011. Not that I ever believed there was reason to doubt his induction, but recently I witnessed further reason to cement his status in the elevated ranks of shame.

As regular readers are fully aware, I write passionately about pursuing the truth while promoting investor education and investor protection. The history of the last few years has shown that the financial services industry has not exactly shared our passion.

Who has shared the passion and took very real professional risk in the process? Numerous and sundry whistleblowers.  (more…)

Is Jon Corzine “Too Big to Be Indicted”? Part III

Posted by Larry Doyle on November 22nd, 2011 4:29 PM |

This commentary runs a little long, but I exhort you to read it in its entirety as it captures the sentiments of readers who are extremely close to or actually “in the MF arena.”  Their messages are filled with real pain and anguish which is not found in the media. This is reality. I hope you will want to share this post with your friends. LD

As if $600 million in missing customer funds were not enough, recent news emanating from the debacle that defines the bankruptcy of MF Global puts the estimated misappropriation of customer funds at a cool $1.2 billion. Yes, billion with a B!

Those involved in the markets would easily ascertain that those manning the MF Global ship redirected these customer funds in an attempt to save the ship as it was going down. The customers themselves remain in a state of shock and bewilderment as to how this reality might ever have come to pass.

Meanwhile, the outrage in America burns while the lack of trust and confidence in the markets, the market makers, and those charged with protecting investors grows stronger by the day.

You don’t believe me? Read on and chew on these messages I recently received from people “in the arena”: (more…)

“We’re Not Prosecuting the Bad Guys”

Posted by Larry Doyle on November 9th, 2010 7:44 AM |

Who needs major print media which will not aggressively report on stories deserving real exposure when we have Sense on Cents to spread the faith while pursuing truth, transparency, and integrity? Regular readers hopefully appreciate that I do not easily engage in hyperbole but I am compelled to highlight the virtues of my blog this morning based on a comment left here last evening at 11:58pm.

A reader by the name of Nancy shed light on her less than satisfying Finra arbitration process. In the body of her comment, Nancy alludes to a retiring CFTC administrative Judge George Painter’s very serious allegations of misconduct by a fellow CFTC administrative Judge Bruce Levine. How serious is Painter’s allegation? As Nancy highlighted,

As George H. Painter was preparing to retire recently as one of two administrative law judges presiding over investor complaints at the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, he issued an extraordinary request: (more…)

“Markets Don’t Go Up, They’re Put Up”

Posted by Larry Doyle on August 20th, 2010 6:57 AM |

I have to admit, while I personally view myself as an optimist by nature, I come from an immediate and extended family which could redefine what it means to be cynical. Often, I will initially chuckle when hearing my siblings (6 brothers, 1 sister) and uncles characterize an individual or situation in less than glowing terms. The busting on each other typically continues until somebody goes over the line. That happens fairly regularly.

Lucky Shamrock

Invariably, a number of my brothers, uncles, and I will not be able to restrain ourselves from laughing, while the individual targeted for the good-natured ridicule exits the conversation often cursing under his breath. Such is life in a close-knit, Boston Irish Catholic family.

That strong, competitive, acerbic cynicism does not end at Mom’s kitchen door but carries over into the workplace. My immediate and extended family largely pursued careers in the legal and investment fields. Both career paths have allowed our cynical wit to flourish. Why do I raise this topic? (more…)

Robert Rubin, Raise Your Right Hand . . .

Posted by Larry Doyle on April 8th, 2010 9:15 AM |

Robert Rubin

Perhaps no one single individual is more representative of the Wall Street-Washington incestuous relationship than Robert Rubin.

Today, Mr. Rubin will provide testimony to the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission which is charged with investigating the root causes of the economic crisis which emanated on Wall Street. Will the FCIC allow Mr. Rubin to hide behind the veil of platitudes, unnamed consultants, unknown risks, and the like? Will the FCIC finally stand up for American citizens and drill Mr. Rubin to expose the deeply embedded, culturally corrosive nature of the incestuous relationship between Wall Street and Washington? (more…)

Let’s Give Barack Some Sense on Cents

Posted by Larry Doyle on June 16th, 2009 9:16 AM |

In true Washington fashion, Obama’s proposed regulatory reforms have been “leaked” to the market. Let’s review, analyze, and critique. The Wall Street Journal provides a very helpful overview of these reforms via Blueprint to Avoid Market Meltdowns:

President Barack Obama spent the first five months of his presidency trying to make sure the worst financial shock in 70 years didn’t push the U.S. economy into a depression. He will spend the next five months or so trying to redo the rules of finance so we don’t go through this again.

Enough of the Obama plan has leaked to see how Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and chief White House economist Lawrence Summers propose to protect the economy from the vulnerabilities now so painfully evident: Plug the gaps; don’t redo the organization chart. Rely heavily on the sagacity of the Federal Reserve; the alternatives are inferior. Craft a plan that has a chance of getting through Congress.

Will there be real “change” involved in Obama’s plans or a mere reshuffling of the deck chairs along with a healthy dose of Monday morning quarterbacking? Will the Wall Street-Washington cabal be exposed or solidified? Let’s navigate the landscape of Obama’s proposed reforms using the WSJ’s blueprint:

Problem: Several financial firms were so big and intertwined that their failure threatened the entire system, and they weren’t all banks.

Solution: Pump up the Fed’s role in overseeing all big “financial holding companies,” giving it explicit authority to match its responsibility. Tell it to protect the system, not only the sturdiness of the banking units of these firms. Brace for controversy: Some in Congress already think the Fed is too powerful.

So propose a “council” of regulators to share some duties, but make the Fed the heavy. (Retain the Fed’s ability to lend to anyone in a crisis, as it did to Bear Stearns and American International Group, but require it to get the formal OK of the Treasury secretary.)

Sense on ¢ents: the Fed is already charged with these responsibilities within the banking industry. I highlighted these points the other day in my post “The All Powerful Federal Reserve”:

What are the Federal Reserve’s responsibilities?

-supervising and regulating banking institutions to ensure the safety and soundness of the nation’s banking and financial system and to protect the credit rights of consumers

-maintaining the stability of the financial system and containing systemic risk that may arise in financial markets

The Fed failed to perform. Why give it more power? Obama is specifically addressing the risks within the insurance industry in designating the Fed as the authority in overseeing the entire economic system.

I believe our risks are increasing dramatically via this move. Why? Not enough checks and balances. Not enough eyes and ears and “teeth” to monitor and promote accountability. Merely because the Fed is “all powerful” does not mean that it is “all knowing,” “all capable,” and “all encompassing.” (more…)

How Wall Street Bought Washington

Posted by Larry Doyle on March 9th, 2009 3:35 PM |

A great American and loyal reader (thanks FL) shared a report recently produced by not-for-profits Essential Information and The Consumer Education Foundation.  This report, Sold Out: How Wall Street and Washington Betrayed America, has gotten little to no attention in the general media. What a shame.  I find of particular interest the fact that a number of the currently discussed regulatory changes are directly addressing the points highlighted in this report. I personally view these proposed regulatory changes as substantiating this report and adding credibility to its effort. For the naysayers in the audience, I would ask you to review the report and reconsider your assessment.

I was struck a month ago by the incriminating statements put forth by Senator Chuck Hagel and CIA head Leon Panetta, which I highlighted on February 16th in Legalized Bribery. Those statements bluntly indict our massive system of lobbying, political fundraising, and the quality of those running for elected office! In light of that article, I am more and more convinced that our elected officials have turned their offices into massive for profit machines at the expense of our public well being.

I commend the authors of this report, Roger Weissman and James Donahue, for taking the time and making the extensive effort to expose the truth. The full report, 231 pages in length, spares no detail. In studying it, I found the information and analysis riveting. Let me try to summarize it for you. (more…)






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