Saturday, March 29, 2008

Bush Team Proposes Financial UnPatriot Act

After 9-11 the Justice Department pushed the Patriot Act to prevent future catastrophes from happening again. It allowed the government new methods to determine if individual citizens posed a risk to our nation's safety.

After the Bear Stearns bailout on Wall Street, the Treasury Department offers the UnPatriot Act which does nothing to prevent future market meltdowns from speculative to illegal corporate behavior. However, it does allow the Feds to come to the rescue should our Wall Street icons once again paint investment pigs as high priced hookers.

While the government can scrutinize a suspected terrorists' information, it remains hands off with investment banks and other financial institutions, including hedge funds and private equity underwriters (PEU's). The NYT piece on this new non-regulatory reform closed with ex-SEC chair Arthur Levitt's saying "his first impression of the plan was positive. Even though the S.E.C.’s powers might be reduced, Mr. Levitt said, the plan would create a broader agency to regulate business conduct in all financial services."

So the government would have slightly broader breadth, but less depth than what allowed the current crisis? And who is your employer Mr. Levitt? Why it's the Carlyle Group and Arthur's just one of the PEU boys! It's all beginning to make sense...