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SEC Chair Gensler Will Tiptoe Around Questions of Meaningful Reform on Wall Street at Today’s Senate Banking Hearing

Courtesy of Pam Martens

Gary Gensler, SEC Chairman

Gary Gensler, SEC Chairman

The Senate Banking Committee will hold a hearing today titled “Oversight of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.” The SEC needs a lot of oversight because that’s the federal agency that didn’t catch Bernie Madoff for more than four decades, despite a financial expert, Harry Markopolos, sending the SEC detailed written reports (in 2000, 2001, 2005, 2007 and 2008), making the case that Madoff was running a Ponzi scheme.

The SEC was also asleep at the switch while Wall Street banks concocted their subprime debt bombs, then bet billions of dollars that they would fail while selling them to public pension funds as good investments. Those subprime bombs blew up in 2008, cratering the U.S. economy and leaving millions of innocent Americans jobless and homeless.

More recently, the SEC was caught flat-footed when the family office hedge fund, Archegos Capital Management, blew up and the public learned for the first time that Wall Street banks have been disguising massive, highly-leveraged stock positions held by these hedge funds as belonging to the banks.

The SEC is also currently turning a blind eye to a practice that screams illegal manipulation: it is allowing the serially-charged mega banks on Wall Street to trade their own bank’s stock in their own Dark Pools. (See The SEC Is Allowing 5-Count Felon JPMorgan Chase to Trade Its Own Bank Stock in its Own Dark Pools.)

The reason that the Senate Banking Committee has to closely police the SEC with these regular oversight hearings is because this Senate Banking Committee has repeatedly confirmed the outside counsel to the largest trading banks on Wall Street to serve as Wall Street’s top cop. The guy before Gensler, SEC Chairman Jay Clayton of Sullivan & Cromwell, was nominated by President Donald Trump. Clayton had legally represented 8 of the 10 largest Wall Street banks in the three years prior to the Senate Banking Committee confirming him to Chair the SEC.


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