Posts filed under “Legal”

Good-Bye and Good Riddance to Chris Cox

“Chairman Cox has increased to 34 percent of the S.E.C. work force from 32 percent in 2005 and 29 percent in the 1990s. This investment in investor protection already is paying significant dividends.”

The baldfaced lie above was issued under SEC Chairman Cox about how he had improved the agency enforecement staff to protect investors.

Only not so much.

As Floyd Norris noted, this was a very misleading statistical sleight of hand: “The commission’s enforcement staff had declined in size under his chairmanship. It had just declined at a slower rate than the rest of the staff. When I asked if the enforcement staff would look askance at a company that made a similarly disingenuous claim in an S.E.C. filing, his staff seemed surprised.

Cox, like his two predeccessors, were wholly unsuitable to be running the SEC.

From Bailout Nation:

Then there is Christopher Cox, a stumblebum of an SEC Chair. Cox was more hapless than anything, unable to successfully navigate the fierce lobbying thrown up by Wall Street.

In July 2007, Cox eliminated the so-called uptick rule, removing a key restraint on shorting just as the credit crunch was getting started. (Not very smart). The market peaked shortly afterwards, and began heading south — with no uptick rule to prevent indiscriminate short selling. Then in September 2008, with the crisis in full flower, the clueless dolt made shorting financial stocks illegal. Apparently, he was unaware that fierce market selloffs are often slowed by short sellers covering their positions (to lock in profits on their bearish bets). Without any short-sellers in the market, the downturn became even worse. From the market highs of October 2007, the S&P 500 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average were cut in half in 12 months. Much of the damage came after the no-shorting rule went into effect. (As GOP Presidential candidate in 2008, Sen. Johh McCain called for Cox’s resignation.)

All I can say is good riddance!


Previously:S.E.C. Chairmen, 2001-08 (December 2008)

Christopher Cox Leaves
Floyd Norris
NYT, January 21, 2009, 4:53 PM

Category: Bailouts, Investing, Legal, Markets, Regulation

California Foreclosures Driving Sales

You need only two things to fix the housing crisis: Readily available consumer credit, and lower real estate prices. The second part of that equation is being helped along by Foreclosures: Southern California home sales rose 51 percent in December as a surge in foreclosures pushed prices of single-family houses and condominiums down from a…Read More

Category: Credit, Legal, Markets, Real Estate

How copyright extension in recording actually works

How copyright extension in sound recordings actually works

Category: Legal, Music, Video

More Cablevision Redirect Nonsense

In September, I mentioned that my internet provider, Optimum OnLine by Cable Vision, was hijacking my typos and searches via their DNS Redirect. The company line is that this is a form of search assistance — but that’s transparent bullshit. I didn’t ask for search, and I know how to use Google. Besides, this defeats…Read More

Category: Legal, Regulation, Web/Tech

U.S. Foreclosure Market Data by State – 2008

via Realty Trac

Category: Digital Media, Legal, Real Estate

2008 U.S. Foreclosure Heat Map

> RealtyTrac reported this week that in 2008, the U.S. had a total of 3,157,806 foreclosure filings — default notices, auction sale notices and bank repossessions — on 2,330,483 U.S. properties. This was an 81% increase over 2007, and a 225% percent increase from 2006. The report also shows that 1.84 percent of all U.S….Read More

Category: Credit, Legal, Markets, Real Estate

Circuit City = $0

Full blown liquidation, no value remains for shareholders. I was going to write “Wow,” but its a tough business, with brutal competition and razor thin margins. CC had too many missteps over the years — and too much debt — to reorg/recover from. WSJ:  Circuit City Stores said it has reached an agreement with liquidators…Read More

Category: Consumer Spending, Legal, Retail

10 Most Unethical People in Business

Via Marketwatch: Bernard Madoff. David Colby, former CFO of Wellpoint Rod Blagojevich, governor of Illinois Heinz-Joachim Neubürger, Karl-Hermann Baumann and Johannes Feldmayer. The two former CFOs and former chairman of Siemens Ted Stevens, former senator from Alaska Bruno A Kaelin, former senior vice president and head of corporate compliance at Alstom Adam Vitale, sentenced to…Read More

Category: Digital Media, Legal

Madoff Never Traded?

Alternative title: The End of Self-Regulation A Boston Globe article today reveals that Madoff’s firms may never have traded — despite NASD/FINRA audits every 2 years since 1960. “As investigators try to untangle the scheme that Bernard L. Madoff hid from investors and regulators for a decade or more, one basic fact is emerging: He…Read More

Category: Legal, Markets, Regulation

No, Madoff Never Turned Down Money

Part of the story about the Madoff Ponzi scheme was that Madoff created this elusive, difficult-to-become-a-member club. The exclusivity and rejections made membership all the more desirable to greedy investors. That actually is turning out to be somewhat of a myth. There is much more to his canny trick of rejecting investors than initially meets…Read More

Category: Hedge Funds, Investing, Legal, Really, really bad calls, Regulation