Debunking The Myth Of Free Market Self Regulation

Aug 20 2011 Published by under Uncategorized

We have all heard the talking point that if we just get the government out of the way, prosperity will come and the free market will self-regulate. It comes as no surprise to those of us on the left that this is being proven absolutely false right before our eyes.

In a recent article regarding the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Matt Taibii, wrote about the shredding up of massive amounts of documents, about 18,000 of them.

Many of the destroyed files involved firms and people who later played prominent roles in the financial collapse of 2008.

A 2002 inquiry into financial fraud at Lehman Brothers, as well as a 2005 case of insider trading at the same soon-to-be-bankrupt bank. A 2009 preliminary investigation of insider trading by Goldman Sachs was deleted, along with records for at least three cases involving the infamous hedge fund SAC Capital.

“In at least one case, according to SEC attorney named Darcy Flynn, investigators at the SEC found their desire to bring a case against an influential bank thwarted by senior officials in the enforcement division – whose director turned around and accepted a lucrative job from the very same bank they had been prevented from investigating.”

In very recent news Representative Darrell Issa (R-CA) has hired a gentleman by the name of Peter Haller, also known as Peter Simonyi, a former Goldman Sachs VP. He is in charge of blocking regulations on Goldman Sachs and others Wall Street firms. This man changed his name in order to stay inconspicuous, I guess.

According to Think Progress, this is his work history,

After completing his law degree in 2000, Haller was employed by Federal Energy Regulatory Commission as an economist, and later with the Securities and Exchange Commission in the Office of Enforcement.

– In April of 2005, Haller resigned from the SEC to take a job with Goldman Sachs. Although he was not a registered lobbyist, he soon began lobbying the SEC on compliance issues on behalf of Goldman Sachs.

– In 2006, Haller left Goldman Sachs, according to a Goldman official who spoke to ThinkProgress.

– In 2008, he took a job with the law/lobbying firm Brickfield Burchette Ritts & Stone.

– In January of 2011, Haller was hired to work for Issa on the Oversight Committee. Under the supervision of Haller, Issa sent a letter dated July 22, 2011 to bank regulators (including the heads of the Federal Reserve, FDIC, FCA, CFTC, FHFA, and Office of Comptroller) demanding documents to justify new Dodd-Frank mandated rules on margin requirements for banks dealing in the multi-trillion dollar OTC derivatives market, like Goldman Sachs.

If Goldman Sachs is in the Oversight Committee and former employees of Wall Street are in the SEC, doesn’t this equal self-regulation of the free market? It seems to me that it is by definition, self-regulation.

So if we did what those in the GOP want and eliminated the SEC would we be better, worse or just the same? I think we would be just the same, considering like I stated earlier, Wall Street is already regulating itself through the SEC.

How do we change this situation? We need honest leadership without ties to Wall Street to make sure the SEC is cleared of all the moles and rats. Considering that to be a huge uphill battle, President Obama started the CFPB.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau was target number one on Wall Street’s radar. We have an agency that isn’t infiltrated by the Wall Street elitists and Elizabeth Warren would not have allowed them in. That is why they tried their hardest to kill it and kill it’s funding through the GOP.

Free market self-regulation is a myth, and it’s time to stop believing in conservative fairy tales.

12 responses so far