Friday, June 15, 2007

Freedom to Cheat Investors

President Bush personally weighed in with a "hook 'em" regarding an investor lawsuit for securities fraud. Bush cheered loudly for dirty corporate chiefs and Wall Street investment houses helping to defraud shareholders.
He stated it's important to reduce "unnecessary lawsuits" as he ignored the advice of 30 state attorney generals. Bush talked with the Soliciter General who represents the government's views before the Supreme Court about the case. Guess who stood down as the deadline to join the suit passed? I'm sure that saved the Soliciter a butt chewing.

So why would the President be concerned about whether investors can pursue lawsuits to recover investment losses if they can prove collusion between Wall Street institutions and scandal-ridden companies? Why shouldn't such groups get their day in court? Who does George W. want to protect?

The case Bush bullied the Solicter General "to remain mum on" sits before the Supreme Court. Their ruling will determine the future status of stalled Enron lawsuits.

State attorney generals are trying to look after the small investor. "Our system of monitoring and eliminating securities fraud would be severely undermined" if the parties who could have pulled the plug on Enron "get to walk away," the state attorneys general wrote.

Bush doesn't care about this system. The SEC currently is letting hundreds of companies off the hook for stock option backdating. Most CEO's who benefitted mightily at the expense of these same shareholders are walking away with fines at best. With no admission of guilt, the handful that loose their job are free to work again.

The other strategy is to work around the SEC completely. During Bush's term private equity firms have ballooned. By taking companies private they can avoid securities regulations altogether. The Carlyle Group grew from a $3.5 billion firm to over $58.5 billion in managed assets during the Bush Presidency.

Are we headed back to the roaring twenties? George W. seemed to like wearing that White Tie. Will he be the Great Gutsby, Clutzby or Dumby? No matter which way he covers for his rich friends, it all adds up to a PEU!

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