As in the song "Lawyers In Love" we have a land, a nation with too many in high places willing to do anything for money neglecting people, honor and principle but a change is coming. No more falling for the lie of living only individualistic and independent lives leaving us divided and conquerable by powerful special interests but a people, a nation collaborating for the greater common good in various groups all across the nation. A land of people working together to help one another with a vision moreover as Jesus would have us be. Love, Mercy, Forgiveness, Kindness....something about another Land. The change is coming

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Wall Street-Friendly Democrat Undercuts Financial Reform

The Senate conferees negotiating a final Wall Street reform bill approved a measure late Tuesday that purports to protect retail investors yet actually scraps an Obama administration-supported proposal to protect average investors from unscrupulous brokers on Wall Street, in a move one dismayed consumer advocate likened to "false advertising."

The amendment, offered by Sen. Tim Johnson (D-S.D.), undercuts a move to compel brokers -- middlemen between buyers and sellers of securities -- to act in the best interests of their clients, in accordance with what is known as their fiduciary duty.

"The Johnson fiduciary duty 'compromise' offers the illusion of investor protection, but not the reality," said Barbara Roper, director of investor protection for the Consumer Federation of America. "The conditions that the agency would have to meet ensure that any rule it tried to adopt would be tied up in court and would probably be overturned. In short, this is just another fake fiduciary duty provision from the Senate."

The requirement attached to the study acts like a "poison pill" designed to gut the provision, Roper added, given broker-dealers' high probability of success challenging potential rules in court.

The North American Securities Administrators Association, the National Association of Secretaries of State, and AARP all support stronger provisions to protect average investors.

In fact, even Wall Street has indicated its support for a more robust measure.

"[W]e remain supportive of a new, federal fiduciary standard for brokers and investment advisers when they are providing personalized investment advice to retail investors," Andrew DeSouza, a spokesman for the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association, a top trade group, told the Huffington Post in May. Goldman Sachs chief executive and chairman Lloyd Blankfein expressed a similar position in January in testimony before the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission, the panel charged with investigating the roots of the financial crisis.

Johnson's amendment, though, makes it nearly "impossible" for the SEC to act, Roper said, adding that his measure does nothing more than offer "the pretense of trying to solve the problem."

Roper, though, is hopeful that House negotiators will resist the direction taken by their Senate counterparts. "Fortunately, [Senate Banking Committee] Chairman [Christopher] Dodd indicated that this language was still open to negotiation."

But, she added, "it will take major work before it remotely resembles a provision that investor advocates could support."

And come January, investor advocates won't be able to turn to Dodd, who will be retiring. Instead, they'll have to appeal to the new chairman of the Senate Banking Committee -- and if Democrats replace Dodd on the basis of seniority, that new chairman will be none other than Tim Johnson.

Welcome to the politics of underhanded government. A lot is being said up front while lobbyists from the financial industry work behind the scenes with an influential congressmen. I knew some of the bought off congressmen would try to pull this garbage under the cover of the oil spill and other news. Here it is. You got a voice, you can stop it if you want.

No comments :