How Hedge Fund Vampires Use Insider Info to Extract Their Dishonest Fortunes
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To do so they successfully lobbied the Wall Street-friendly House to kill that part of the bill by instead having “the Government Accountability Office assess the use of ‘political intelligence’ first and then make recommendations on narrowing the definitions.” Don’t hold your breath.
Will the STOCK Act stop the corruption?
You’re kidding, right? Let me make a sure-fire prediction: The transformation of Washington into an information feeder arm of hedge funds and Wall Street banks will continue until an outraged public builds a mass movement to counter Wall Street. Billion-dollar hedge funds have ample resources to grease the wheels in order to protect their interests. And congressional members always need campaign funds. As a result, even if the new legislation is fully enforced (fat chance) congressional members will trade legislation to get campaign funds. That’s why hedge funds still have their outrageous “carried interest” loophole that allows them to morph their income (which should be taxed at the 35 percent rate) into capital gains (which is taxed at 15 percent.) Also that’s why any and all efforts to enact a sensible financial transaction sales tax on Wall Street are going nowhere.
But Wall Street really wins big in another important way. As the public becomes more and more aware of the money-making ties between Washington and Wall Street, it will further despise Washington – which is precisely what Wall Street wants. The more the public turns against the federal government, the easier it becomes to attack government regulations of all kinds. And the sooner regulation and enforcement fades from the scene, the easier it becomes for Wall Street to operate its casinos at will and continue to fleece the American public.
Which is why we need a beefed up version of Occupy Wall Street…and soon.
Les Leopold is the executive director of the Labor Institute and Public Health Institute in New York, and author of The Looting of America: How Wall Street's Game of Fantasy Finance Destroyed Our Jobs, Pensions, and Prosperity—and What We Can Do About It (Chelsea Green, 2009).