By Anonymous (not verified) on December 16, 2013

The scandalous saga of the Wall Street bailout continues, for bank regulators are now watering down Congress' pathetically weak reforms.

However, during the past four years, one fellow has shown some regulatory backbone, proposing rules to prevent a repeat of the whole sorry saga. He is Gary Gensler, head of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, and he has dared to push the Treasury Secretary and other major bank overseers to join him in seriously limiting Wall Street's cavalier proliferation of complex "derivatives." Analysts describe these convoluted schemes as "poorly disclosed, poorly understood, and could lay waste to the economy."

Good for Gensler, right? Yes! But of all the agency heads who're involved in writing new banking rules, guess which one was not invited this year by President Obama to stay on the job. Yes, the tough one, the one actually trying to protect the people, the one not afraid to offend Wall Street greedheads: Gary Gensler.

He's being replaced by Timothy Massad, who appears to be more of an industry lapdog than a watchdog. Massad, a career insider, has been a corporate lawyer for banks, a lickspittle lieutenant for Treasury Secretary Timmy Geithner (an infamous Wall Street softie), and a blocker of tough provisions to stop big banks from unfairly squeezing hard-hit homeowners.

Apparently, Gensler wanted to keep doing his work at this once-obscure agency – staying on guard against financial connivers trying to twist the rules to legalize banker robbery. But Wall Streeters certainly didn't want him there, and Obama bowed to them, displacing the one guy, the one regulatory chief, who had the guts and gumption to stand up to coddled bankers.

Not only is Gensler gone, but Wall Street gets a regulator who's being entrusted to return the agency to obscurity. What a disgrace.

Listen to this commentary:

------

Photo: Flickr user (vincent desjardins), creative commons licensed.

Add new comment

By submitting this form, you accept the Mollom privacy policy.

More

 

By Jessica Mason and Matthew Rothschild

Thursday afternoon, a group of 75 Wisconsin...

By Kathi Wolfe
President Obama signed an executive order on July 21 prohibiting federal contractors from...

The Obama Administration has given the go-ahead to a massive new oil exploration program off the Atlantic coast....

By Wendell Berry

Manifesto: The Mad Farmer Liberation Front

Love the quick profit, the annual raise,
vacation with pay. Want more 
of everything ready made. Be afraid 
to know your neighbors and to die.
And you will have a window in your head.
Not even your future will be a mystery 
any more. Your mind will be punched in a card 
and shut away in a little drawer.
When they want you to buy something 
they will call you. When they want you
to die for profit they will let you know. 
So, friends, every day do something
that won’t compute. Love the Lord. 
Love the world. Work for nothing. 
Take all that you have and be poor.
Love someone who does not deserve it. 
Denounce the government and embrace 
the flag. Hope to live in that free 
republic for which it stands. 
Give your approval to all you cannot
understand. Praise ignorance, for what man 
has not encountered he has not destroyed.
Ask the questions that have no answers. 
Invest in the millennium. Plant sequoias.
Say that your main crop is the forest
that you did not plant,
that you will not live to harvest.


Say that the leaves are harvested 
when they have rotted into the mold.
Call that profit. Prophesy such returns.
Put your faith in the two inches of humus 
that will build under the trees
every thousand years.
Listen to carrion—put your ear
close, and hear the faint chattering
of the songs that are to come. 
Expect the end of the world. Laugh. 
Laughter is immeasurable. Be joyful
though you have considered all the facts. 
So long as women do not go cheap 
for power, please women more than men.
Ask yourself: Will this satisfy 
a woman satisfied to bear a child?
Will this disturb the sleep 
of a woman near to giving birth? 
Go with your love to the fields.
Lie easy in the shade. Rest your head 
in her lap. Swear allegiance 
to what is nighest your thoughts.
As soon as the generals and the politicos 
can predict the motions of your mind, 
lose it. Leave it as a sign 
to mark the false trail, the way 
you didn’t go. Be like the fox 
who makes more tracks than necessary, 
some in the wrong direction.
Practice resurrection.

Wendell Berry is a poet, farmer, and environmentalist in Kentucky. This poem, first published in 1973, is reprinted by permission of the author and appears in his “New Collected Poems” (Counterpoint).

Public School Shakedown

Progressive Media Project

Newsletter

Get Breaking News and Alerts!