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On Financial Sector Failings

Understanding the Debacle

[By Staff Reporters]56371606

Did you know that Michael Lewis and David Einhorn recently gave a nice review of the financial system catastrophe, and its devastating flaws, causes and effects, in the January 3rd 2009 New York Times?

Exposing the Flaws

In review of How to Repair a Broken Financial World, they said:

1. Wall Street CEOs won’t self-incriminate or blow the whistle on their own companies [Think: thin-blue line]. And, they receive bonuses and are on peer-compensation committees. Perhaps they might even be fired if they self-accuse of irresponsibility.

2. The credit-rating agencies, which are supposed to carefully measure the amount of risk that companies take, dropped the ball.

For example Fannie, Freddie, GE and AIG all had triple-A ratings; remember Enron? But, they disguised the risk, rather than expose it. Why? Because they would have to re-rate tens of thousands of credits tied to them, as well as increase their own cost-of-capital; integrity and reputations be damned! And, did the big financial firms contribute to those very same credit-rating agencies [pay-2-play]?

3. Was Chris Cox and the Securities and Exchange Commission [SEC] competent enough, or motivated enough, to do its job and investigate the Madoff scheme even after being warned about it?

Assessment

Can you cite some other, even more pernicious, flaws? For example; how did the mortgage industry’s engorgement of commission-driven sales, and the consumer sentiment to “own a home – at all costs” factor into the fault-line?   

Link: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/04/opinion/04lewiseinhornb.html?_r=1

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7 Responses

  1. Financial Advisor Marcus Schrenker’s Sad Saga,

    Did you know that Marcus Schrenker, a 38-year old financial advisor and insurance agent who ran a registered investment advisory [RIA] called Heritage Wealth Management in Indianapolis, was taken into custody recently by US Marshalls who found him hiding in a northern Florida camp ground?

    Schrenker, shocked the industry and his clients, by just landing on cover of the New York Post because of his sad shenanigans. To elude the Feds, Schrenker apparently attempted to fake his own death in an airplane crash to escape authorities and regulators.

    Apparently, the FA, had a lengthy history of shady dealings—from bankruptcies to receipt of stolen property, securities lawsuits on behalf of individuals and lawsuits from insurance companies claiming he booked hundreds of thousands of dollars in exorbitant annuity commissions.

    Many of those he sold annuities to were current and former Delta pilots whose retirement accounts he managed, according to a New York Post story.

    His world appeared to have caved in when Indiana’s Secretary of State raided his $4 million home on New Year’s Eve, seizing computers, cash and the rest. That same day his wife filed for divorce.

    What a guy!

    -Jack

    Like

  2. Trust the FINRA and the SEC? – Think Again!

    Isn’t attorney Mary Schapiro, tapped to chair the SEC, facing questioning in conjunction with a pair of lawsuits over her candor and truthfulness in statements she made in connection with the merger that created the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority [FINRA] – formerly the NASD – which she now heads?

    Any insider scoop is appreciated? If you trust the SEC and FINRA, you’d better think again. After all, it’s your money!

    -Patty

    Like

  3. Obama – It’s all about Credibility,

    I can not think of two industries that rely on credibility more than healthcare and finance.

    Well, it now seems that Thomas A. Daschle apparently procrastinated over his back tax problem even after being nominated to be Secretary of Health and Human Services? It appears that Tom paid more than $140,000 to the US Treasury this January 2nd – although he may have known since June 2008 that he needed to correct his tax returns for his car use problem?

    And, since leaving office, he was reported to have made more than 5 million dollar without becoming a registered lobbyist, including $220,000 from the health-care industry. This included current perks – like the chauffeured Cadillac – that may have gotten him into the mess in the first place.

    Of course, Timothy F. Geithner who was the ninth president and chief executive officer of the Federal Reserve Bank – who just became the 75th United States Secretary of the Treasury in the Obama Administration – also had a tax problem. Yet, he was confirmed.

    So, what’s up with all that?

    These two disclosures, Geithner and Daschle, have yet to raise series eyebrows among those who expected Obama to be wary of insiders; as he supposedly sought to increase the credibility of his administration; SHAME!

    Tom and Tim must go!
    -Christopher

    Like

  4. Let’s select Harry Markopolos for SEC chairman.
    -Joe

    Like

  5. Joe,
    Couldn’t agree with you, more.

    Chris,
    Ask for ADV Parts I and II, as well.

    Good luck.
    Bill

    Like

  6. Financial Advisors and Baseball Players

    If I were king of the SEC, NASD-FINRA, CFP-Board, etc., I would hold a news conference and declare that while its “oversight” might be the toughest in the financial “advisory” and insurance product sales industry, it needs to get even tougher.

    Current financial industry oversight of brokers, advisors, planners and wealth managers is legally blind, much like baseball’s steroid-testing program under current Commissioner Bud Selig. It too may be the toughest in the industry, but it is still woefully inadequate to protect integrity of the game.

    Think: A-Rod versus Bernie Madoff

    Miller E. Mays
    [A fan and investor]

    Like

  7. How the Case Against Bank of America CEO Fizzled

    According to Jesse Eisinger, years after Ken Lewis came under investigation for misleading investors, the case against him ended with a minuscule fine paid by the bank.

    http://www.propublica.org/thetrade/item/how-the-case-against-bank-of-america-ceo-fizzled?utm_source=et&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=dailynewsletter

    Morty

    Like

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