Activists around the world converge on the first of May (“May Day”) every year to advocate for social justice issues such as economic and labor rights, immigration reform and civil liberties.
Today, May 1, 2013, Occupy the SEC partakes in this activist tradition by petitioning members of the House Financial Services Committee to promote the interests of the general public in considering changes to the Dodd-Frank Act of 2010 specific to swaps regulation.
The recent burgeoning of highly toxic and largely unregulated swap contracts led to the Global Recession of 2008, which was the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression of the 1930’s. Congress passed Title VII of the Dodd-Frank Act of 2010 to reform the swaps market. To this date, Title VII has yet to be completely finalized by the relevant regulatory agencies.
Nevertheless, the House Financial Services Committee, buckling under deregulatory pressure that has been brought to bear by the financial services lobby, is considering a slew of bills that would gut various components of Title VII’s swaps oversight.
Occupy the SEC has analyzed these bills and today issued a letter to the House Financial Services Committee with its recommendations. In general, OSEC recommends that the House forebear from passing premature amendments or modifications to the Dodd-Frank as the law has yet to be fully implemented or enforced.
OSEC’s letter is available at: http://www.occupythesec.org/files/OSEC_Title_VII_Bills.pdf
We have one “maybe” this week – according to Bloomberg, incoming SEC Chair Mary Jo White is considering hiring a senior high frequency trading (HFT) executive named Chris Concannon to boost the agency’s oversight of HFT and market structure. That sounds good on the surface, but Concannon’s comments quoted in the article sound dangerously easy-going. Better Markets is also concerned. We’ll be watching.
- It looks as if states are fighting back against the corrupt MERS (which cheated local counties about of billions), with the next key battleground being Rhode Island. Washington’s Blog at The Big Picture April 11, 2013
- Old tricks like “capital relief trades” are being used by banks to reduce capital levels. Not a good sign since capital levels were one of the key problems which caused the 2008 crisis. Yves Smith at Naked Capitalism April 12, 2013.
- The FED reveals its thinking by claiming bank knowledge of mortgage abuse should be looked at as a “trade secret”. Basically, the Fed’s policy is that bank profit is worth more that public knowledge and the law. Yves Smith at Naked Capitalism April 11, 2013.
- Hedge fund manager Daniel Loeb tries to woo pensions to invest in his expensive funds while his organization Students First advocates for abolishing pensions for public employees. Matt Taibbi at Rolling Stone April 11, 2013.
Elizabeth Warren grills banking regulators (Fed, Treasury, OCC) for HSBC wrist slaps. At what point does the government actually bring criminal charges? Mark Gongloff at Huff Post March 7. 2013
Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations report said to implicate JP Morgan executives in London Whale losses. Committee could ask executives to testify. Ben Protess and Jessica Silver-Green March 4, 2013
Goldman Sachs, sidestepping Volcker rule, finds a way to invest in private equity (with our money). Jessica Toonkel and Lauren Tara LaCapra at Reuters March 4, 2013.
Eric Holder states openly what we already know to be the DOJ’s position, the patently absurd claim that the big banks are too big to prosecute because prosecuting them would cause grave economic harm. Robert Borosage at Alternet March 7, 2013
The chilling war on whistleblowers continues. Just days after Michael Winston’s appearance in the highly critical “Untouchables” PBS documentary, the Appeals Court of California overturns his $3.8 million wrongful termination suit, which was one of only a few glimmers of justice post-2008. Matt Taibbi at Rolling Stone March 4, 2013