Posts filed under “Regulation”
“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
NYT, January 21, 2009, 4:53 PM
With all inauguration coverage, all the time today, I thought we might try to keep the focus on erconomic/market related matters. Time magazine has an article on Bush’s economics mistakes that I would direct you to except for the annoying 9 page clicks required (click whores!). Rather than send you there, I’ll give you the…Read More
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
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
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
January 14, 2009
David R. Kotok co-founded Cumberland Advisors in 1973 and has been its Chief Investment Officer since inception. He holds a B.S. in Economics from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, an M.S. in Organizational Dynamics from The School of Arts and Sciences at the University of Pennsylvania, and a Masters in Philosophy from the University of Pennsylvania. Mr. Kotok’s articles and financial market commentary have appeared in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Barron’s, and other publications. He is a frequent contributor to CNBC programs. Mr. Kotok is also a member of the National Business Economics Issues Council (NBEIC), the National Association for Business Economics (NABE), the Philadelphia Council for Business Economics (PCBE), and the Philadelphia Financial Economists Group (PFEG).
What were formerly viewed as wild currency fluctuations are becoming more accepted in this post-Lehman failure period of the global financial crisis. Lately the strength has been in the yen. Many ask why?
We know that the economic situation in Japan is weak and the outlook is poor. We know that the Japanese exporters need a weaker yen not a stronger yen to help their business models. And we know that Japan has been mired in a deflationary recession for over a decade and the outlook for substantive reforms which would enable it to exit this quagmire seems to be elusive.
So why the yen and what will happen next?
We believe that the global mix of assets boils down to just four currencies. Most of the $85 trillion of bonded debt in the world is denominated in these four currencies: euro (30%), dollar (39%), pound (4%), and yen (13%). Most of the other currencies in the world (not all) are managed in one way or another or are tied directly to one of these four. Hong Kong, for example, runs its policy so that the Hong Kong dollar is fixed in a link to the US dollar. In Europe most of the non-euro countries in the European Union are managing their currencies in a narrow band so as to eventually gain entry into the euro system. Freer floating currencies like the Aussie, Kiwi, Krona or Loonie are important but are also relatively small portions of the globe’s total.
Let’s look at the big 4.
The dollar story is widely known. We have a huge developing federal deficit now measured in the trillions. And the Federal Reserve has rapidly expanded its balance sheet to more than triple the size of the pre-Lehman failure period. See www.cumber.com for a graphic illustration of the Fed’s balance sheet. Remember that when the Fed enlarges its holdings of assets (loans in the “lender-of-last-resort” role) it is also expanding the liability side of the balance sheet (printing money electronically) in order to pay for those loans. Many conclude this will lead to a disastrous decline in the value of the dollar and a fierce inflation explosion. We are not as sure about this outcome as are the detractors; readers will see why below.
If they are too big to fail, make them smaller.” -Nixon Treasury Secretary George Shultz about Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac > The operative expression about many of the bailouts we have seen — AIG, JP Morgan (via Bear Stearns), Goldman Sachs, Fannie/Freddie and of course Citibank — is “Too Big To Fail.” Perhaps the…Read More
Fascinating piece you may have overlooked this week in the Boston Globe on Harry Markopolos, the author of the detailed November 2005 memo to the SEC, identifying 29 red flags about Madoff and concluding he was a fraud. Excerpt: “A month ago, Harry Markopolos was an accountant unknown outside Boston’s financial community. Now the slight,…Read More