As an modestly paid editor, I've been accused on morethan one occasion of being "careful" with my money. If that's aeuphemism for cheap then so be it.
But I would be willing to wager several weeks' salarythat those lawmakers who bothered to read the 2,300-plus pages of the recentlypassed financial reform bill either didn't understand what they were reading,or were never taught the definition of the word "reform."
For those guilty of the latter here it is:http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/reform.
Since the passage of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reformand Consumer Protection Act Democrats and scattered Republicans have beencrowing that the legislation will prevent in the future conditions that led tothe current economic crisis.
I'm wondering then why Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif.,ranking member of the House Committee on Oversight and Governmental Reform, hassubpoenaed some 44,000 documents in an attempt to discover how and why hundredsof lawmakers received VIP mortgage loans from Fannie Mae and Freddie Maccourtesy of Countrywide Financial including the co-author of the financialregulation bill, outgoing Senator Chris Dodd of Connecticut and Senate BankingCommittee Chairman Sen. Kent Conrad, D-N.D., among others.
Incredibly, the FinReg bill did not come within threearea codes of reforming Fannie and Freddie, which to date have siphoned some$145 billion in taxpayer largesse with more bailout funds promising to gushlike the BP oil spill courtesy of these two bleeding hulks.
Those who promised greater transparency also must havemissed the provision in the bill that allows the Securities and ExchangeCommission to veto information requests from the public under thefour-decade-old Freedom of Information Act.
In full disclosure, I will admit that I would not haveknown about this aberration had I not been watching the news and a formerattorney for the SEC explained that it imbues the regulator with the authorityto block public access to SEC records.
But then again, I'm not an elected representative with aduty to my constituency.
According to the news report, the SEC would not disclosethe effect of this new information blockade on its Edgar regulatory filings,but it did say that the provision helps curb the potential number of bankers,wirehouses and financial firms who refuse to cooperate with SEC requests forinformation.
Hmmm. Apparently under this administration, reform andtransparency have very different meanings than I was taught.
And not something I'd bet on.
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