Is FINRA, the embattled Financial Industry Regulatory Organization really a self-regulatory organization? Investor protection? Market integrity?
Yeah, right? It's more like a self-regulatory group of financial plunderers. The people that are allowed to schmooze with our camera-shy congressman, Paul "Cornerstone" Kanjorski.
In March 2010, Project on Government Oversight, a non-profit organization that works to make the government more open and accountable, wrote a letter to Congress criticizing FINRA and other self-regulatory organizations for what POGO described as a failure to adequately regulate the financial sector. POGO claimed that FINRA and other SROs are unable to regulate effectively due to their close ties with the securities industry that they are supposed to regulate; for example, Bernard Madoff was vice-chairman of NASD, FINRA's predecessor, while he was running his ponzi scheme, his son was on the National Adjudicatory Council whose job it was to review FINRA's disciplinary decisions, and his niece was a member of a compliance advisory committee of FINRA. POGO also attacked FINRA's multi-million dollar executive compensation packages, failure to warn other investors about the imminent collapse of the auction rate securities market despite having liquidated its own investment in the market, spending of large amounts of money and resources on advertising and campaigning in an attempt to gain more power, and the higher transaction costs to investors that are created when an industry regulates itself.
Before going on, know that Ba-roke Oblahblah nominated a former FINRA honcho to head the Security & Exchange Commission (SEC). In common parlance, a former member of the corrupt is now leading the incompetent and corrupt.
Divest, people. Divest. Withdraw your investments and store them in a Charles Chip can.
From Phil’s Favorites: The FINRA Fiasco
FINRA may have potential massive conflicts of interests in its dealing with its internal investment portfolio. A clear example is FINRA’s behavior with its Auction Rate Securities. Evidence suggests FINRA sold its Auction Rate Securities months before the market collapsed. Insider information or really good luck?
From Larry Doyle: FINRA Owes America Answers on These Proposals
There you go. In light of everything our country has experienced, who in America could possibly have a problem with the transparency and integrity encompassed in these proposals? America deserves answers to these proposals. FINRA must remove the incestuous blanket it has wrapped itself in over the years. No longer can FINRA be allowed to operate as an entity described by Harry Markopolos as ‘in bed with the industry.’ These proposals will go a long way in pulling that cover back.
I call on President Obama, Treasury Secretary Geithner, Fed Chair Bernanke, SEC Chair Schapiro, Congressmen Issa, Frank, Kanjorski, Senators Dodd, Schumer, et al to compel FINRA to embrace these proposals.
America deserves nothing less than total transparency and will learn a lot in this process.
From the Baltimore Chronicle: Paul Kanjorski and the $550 Billion that "Disappeared" on September 15
I was also struck by Rep. Kanjorski's idiodic statement during the interview that "somebody" threw us into the (financial) ocean, and now he is trying to find the shore. He says this as if it is ineffable who is the "somebody." And, of course, when the going gets a little rough, he takes one leg off of his high horse and says, "I'm not an expert on these matters, I'm just a little ole representative of the people."
From FINRA: FINRA Investor Forum at Wilkes-Barre, PA; featuring special guest Congressman Paul Kanjorski: What Every Investor Needs to Know: Smart Investing in Today’s Environment
More from Larry Doyle (teaser from a very recent appearance on The Sue Henry Show):
We will be talking about our favorite financial regulator, FINRA.
Representative Paul Kanjorski (D-PA) is scheduled for a dog and pony show with FINRA in early July (details here). The fact is, Kanjorski is a member of two Congressional subcommittees which received a letter from the Project on Government Oversight (POGO) questioning the very validity of the self-regulatory model on Wall Street. Those questions are embodied in my commentary from February 23rd, Is FINRA’s Future in Doubt?.
Kanjorski should forget the dog and pony show and call FINRA on the carpet to answer for the massive shortcomings and transgressions within its purview over the last few years.
But will they allow video cameras at the investor forum? That’s what Kanjo and his handlers really need to know.
Anyway, there you have it. Paul Kanjorski refuses to meet face-to-face with his worried and angered constituents, but he will rub elbows with the very people that regularly put our investments at needless risk, while they use inside information to insulate themselves from risk.
A clear lack of oversight led to our continuing financial quagmire. Oversight that Kanjo was all but put in charge of. And now Kanjo wants to pose as our financial knight in shining armor? Spare me.
Those are the sorts of people that Paul Kanjorski is willing and eager to meet with in person.
As for yourself, you're merely an annoying constituent of some sort. The minorities, the defective. The nuts. And the rest of you coal crackers carrying video-capable camera phones.