Wall Street lobbyists are awesome. I’m beginning to develop a begrudging respect not just for their body of work as a whole, but also for their sense of humor. They always go right to the edge of outrageous, and then wittily take one baby-step beyond it. And they did so again last night, with the passage of a new House bill (HR 2827), which rolls back a portion of Dodd-Frank designed to protect cities and towns from the next Jefferson County disaster.
If you remember Jefferson County wasn’t just about a bad deal. Oh no, it included bribery (for real) as well, and several people went to prison. None of them, of course, were banksters.
The people got screwed too, to the tune of a 400% increase in their sewer bill, and even though criminal conduct was later proved in relationship to these deals the bills remain.
That is, the people continue to get hosed to this very day.
So it should not be surprising that on a bi-partisan basis Congress passed HR 2827 yesterday.
And, if you read it (the bill is mercifully short) you will find that it specifically exempts from fiduciary responsibility….
`(i) any broker, dealer, or municipal securities dealer (or person associated with such broker, dealer or municipal securities dealer);
`(ii) any investment adviser registered under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940 or with a State or territory of the United States (or person associated with such an investment adviser);
`(iii) any commodity trading advisor, swap dealer, major swap participant, futures commission merchant or introducing broker registered under the Commodity Exchange Act (or person associated with a commodity trading advisor, swap dealer, major swap participant, futures commission merchant or introducing broker) who is providing advice related to, engaging in, or arranging any swap;
`(iv) any security-based swap dealer or major security-based swap participant registered under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (or any person associated with a security-based swap dealer or major security-based swap participant) who is providing advice related to, engaging in, or arranging any security-based swap;
`(v) any attorney offering legal advice or providing services that are of a traditional legal nature;
`(vi) any engineer providing engineering advice;
`(vii) any financial institution or person associated with a financial institution; or
`(viii) any elected or appointed member of a governing body of a municipal entity, with respect to such member’s role on the governing body;’.
So if you’re any of those people then you have no fiduciary responsibility to the governmental unit or the taxpayers who fund it for the advice you render, even though the entire reason they would otherwise contract with you in the first place is for your expertise and advice to keep from making a mistake!
In other words, the short version is that these so-called “advisors” can provide advice that has no relationship to protecting the best interest of the taxpayers at all, or could even provide advice intentionally adverse to the interest of those taxpayers — like, for instance, to benefit their financial institution instead and intentionally hose you, the common man.
Why don’t we just call this The Pigmen Screw The Taxpayer Act of 2012?
Oh, and as for blaming either Democrat or Republican for this? It passed on a voice vote — that is, by simple majority of both parties without a demand for a recorded, public vote count.
So in point of fact all 435 members of The House voted to allow banksters to screw you with impunity any time they’d like.
Now where, oh where, are the politicians, including the Libertarian Party, on this issue?
They support and in fact vote for banksters screwing you.