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Sunday, July 4, 2010

Will cameras be allowed at the FINRA event?

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.

Read on...

From Wickipedia:

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.



Stephen Albert said...


For all intensive purposes the SEC has been outsourcing financial services regulatory enforcement for decades...prior to FINRA it was the NASD...but the net impact has always been the same: the industry polices itself.

As for Obama screwing up, I point you to the following (from the SEC itself


"Elisse B. Walter was appointed by President George W. Bush to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and was sworn in on July 9, 2008. Under designation by President Barack Obama, she served as Acting Chairman during January 2009.

Prior to her appointment as an SEC Commissioner, Ms. Walter served as Senior Executive Vice President, Regulatory Policy & Programs, for FINRA."


You really think this is a Democratic problem? Newsflash: anyone with an access to Google can substitute "Obama" for "Bush" or "Reagan" and substitute "Kanjorski" for "McDade" or many other GOP Representatives and come up with the same results.

The problem isn't Obama and/or Kanjorski...the problem is a system that BOTH political parties have benefited from other the years.

zorcong said...

Did I say it was a Democrat problem? God for-effing-bid!

Mary Schapiro was sworn in as Chairman of the SEC on 1/27/09 before Obama could even yank his hand back off of the Koran...excuse me, off the bible at his inauguration.

Yet here we are--right now--talking about Wall St. reform so as to distract people from Obama's bungling of dang near everything, plus the fact that despite his new wunderkind in the SEC, the system still cannot be trusted.

And if Wall St. reform was so critical, why did he hurry to stick with the status quo?

Stephen Albert said...

"Did I say it was a Democrat problem? God for-effing-bid!"


Oh come did everything except explicitly say it was. I'm blind as a bat and It could read between those lines. Yes, it's easy to take a shot at Obama over this, and he deserves some degree of shit for maintaining the status quo. HOWEVER you painted a picture that he somehow virtually created the SEC-FINRA-Financial Services Industry menage a trois, which is patently wrong.

Blame Obama for the swelling budget. Yupp...that's fair.

Blame Obama for not getting our asses out of Afghanistan, if you are so inclined, because that's fair.

Blame Obama for messing up manned space flight for the next 20 years, because that's definitely fair.

But blame him for the mess on Wall Street? I'm sorry, but as someone who has 21 years in the financial services industry (nearly as long as Tom Borthwick has been alive), I can tell you with 1000% certainty that this mess existed long before there ever was an Obama. Blaming him for somehow not fixing it is nothing more than the kind of cheap shot that ass-hats like Limbaugh regularly dispense (or like idiots such as Sharpton did to both Bush presidents) to willing toadies.

- Steve

zorcong said...

I implied nothing of the sort.

The crash happened in September of 2008. That was not yet Obama's watch.

Since then he's done nothing about Wall Street reform, but now he wants credit for something or other with another election season looming.

And Kanjo is pretty chummy with the financial folks filling his campaign war chest, those folks supposedly targeted for reform.

The net result will be worthless legislation.

Divest before the next big manipulation.

Stephen Albert said...

We'll agree to disagree on what you implied. That noted, I agree wholeheartedly with everything else you said in the last reply. I'd also add that the Wall Street crash...and by extension the securitization of mortgages...was the product of 50 years of government supported post WWII over-consumption. Simply put, not everyone should own a home. Sorry.

Finally on Kanjorski, next to his family the FS industry is nearest and dearest to his heart. "Too Big To Fail" was and is a joke, designed to punish companies because they dared to be successful while turning a blind eye to the real causes of the melt-down (namely easy money, exceptionally poor risk management and again the mistaken notion that every idiot is entitled to a mortgage). It would also be a boon on the smaller to mid-sized firms that I am sure have greatly benefited Kanorski's campaign coffers.