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"OCCUPY the REGULATORY SYSTEM!" (Good Read from WaPo)

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KoKo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-08-12 08:43 AM
Original message
"OCCUPY the REGULATORY SYSTEM!" (Good Read from WaPo)
Edited on Tue May-08-12 08:48 AM by KoKo
Occupy the regulatory system!
Posted by Suzy Khimm at 09:45 PM ET, 04/27/2012


It may sound like technical gobbledygook to an outsider, and, indeed, a few newcomers to Occupy the SEC seem befuddled by the groups headlong dive into the finer distinctions between proprietary trading and market-making. But the meeting is a glimpse into one of the most surprising iterations of the free-wheeling, anarchic movement: fighting the man through the tedious and Byzantine regulatory process.

In its heyday, the tea party turned to elections to enact change, rallying supporters to primary incumbents and helping the GOP retake the House. Occupy Wall Street, by contrast, has largely eschewed the traditional political process. Instead, as protesters have moved off the streets, a small minority of Occupiers has waded deep into the weeds of the federal regulations, legal decisions and banking practices that make up the actual architecture of Wall Street. And theyre drawing on the technical expertise of the financial industrys own refugees, exiles and dissidents to do so.

Many of the Occupy wonks once worked on Wall Street, and some of them still do. Theyre former derivatives traders, risk analysts, compliance officers and hedge fund quants. They hail from Morgan Stanley, Deutsche Bank, Bear Stearns, D.E. Shaw, Merrill Lynch and JPMorgan Chase and at least one is a former Securities and Exchange Commission regulator. Theyre more likely to use a flowchart than protest signs to fight big banks. But they identify with the movements animating belief that Americas financial heavyweights wield too much power, and that its political leaders are too eager to do their bidding.

As the more visible signs of the movement fade, with their encampments all but cleared from the countrys public spaces, the Occupy wonks have doubled down on their policy work behind the scenes. Theyre slowly gaining attention for their efforts not just from the news media, but also from the some of the financial rulemakers and gatekeepers theyre hoping to influence.

Most of the wonks in New York jumped into the movement like everyone else: They showed up at Zuccotti Park last fall, curious about the gathering, sympathetic to its cause and uncertain what would happen next. But as Occupy Wall Street evolved and branched off in different directions, they found themselves gravitating to the working groups that aimed to reform big finance from the inside out. And some saw an opportunity to make change in a very unlikely place: the regulatory process.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/ezra-klein/post/occ...

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Leopolds Ghost Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-08-12 09:29 PM
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1. "As the more visible signs of the movement fade"
That's what concerns me. Americans seem incapable of focusing on any long-term desire or ideal any more. It's all fashion to people and perhaps Occupy is out of fashion with the TV-watching public.
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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-09-12 02:42 AM
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2. The TV watching public never got to see much of Occupy. The media saw to that.
And when they did see something, it was usually negative.

Nonetheless, the national conversation privoted from the Grand Bargain (an oxymoronic phrase in the style of "Great Depression") to the 99%.
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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-09-12 02:59 AM
Response to Original message
3. The regulatory system is bought and paid for.
Edited on Wed May-09-12 03:03 AM by No Elephants
The Securities and Exchange Commission, another New Deal Reform that was supposed to curb the excesses of Wall Street and protect the little guy, is now owned and run by Wall Street, like most government agencies.

From Wall Street to government, from government to Wall Street, from Wall Street to government. The revolving door.

But whether they are in government or on Wall Street, they operate from the Wall Street perspective, not from the perspective of a Main Street that funds the government and desperately needs government watching out for it.


Case in point, current SEC chief and good friend of Bernie Madoff, Mary Schapiro.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mary_Schapiro

And a more recent appointee, Andrew J. Bowden, formerly of Legg Mason: http://www.sec.gov/news/press/2011/2011-217.htm

Contrast them with the broke guy FDR nominated to the SEC, who later became probably the most liberal Justice on the Supreme Court. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_O._Douglas

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