Photo: Julia La Roche for Business Insider
Is Wall Street the centre 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 far stronger and consistent with the incestuous 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 scandal 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 scandal 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.
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!!
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.
Questions, comments, constructive criticisms always encouraged and appreciated.
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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