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According to the Collins English Dictionary 10th Edition fraud can be defined as: "deceit, trickery, sharp practice, or breach of confidence, perpetrated for profit or to gain some unfair or dishonest advantage".[1] In the broadest sense, a fraud is an intentional deception made for personal gain or to damage another individual; the related adjective is fraudulent. The specific legal definition varies by legal jurisdiction. Fraud is a crime, and also a civil law violation. Defrauding people or entities of money or valuables is a common purpose of fraud, but there have also been fraudulent "discoveries", e.g. in science, to gain prestige rather than immediate monetary gain
*As defined in Wikipedia

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Goldman Sachs Is Not The Only Influence at the CFTC!

We have speculated in past posts about how quickly and how competently the CFTC under Gary Gensler (formerly of Goldman Sachs) will apply the rules of the Dodd-Frank Law. Although Gary Gensler as Chairman is a product of GS's revolving door with government, he has been a positive influence: he has examined the problems and suggested changes that would regulate derivatives and control speculation. See here and here.

Gensler's commission has threatened Goldman Sachs with prosecution for "aiding and abetting civil fraud and supervision related charges." Gensler was asked "to impose strict limits on the amount of oil that Wall Street speculators could trade in the energy futures market." As far as I know, no action was taken on either of those fronts.

Gensler has asked for and received much needed additional funding. However, there has been a six-month delay in implementing the suggested rules. Goldman Sachs and other banks has done much lobbying against regulations and there is disagreement amongst the members of the commission.

But now we have a new scandal at the CFTC in the enforcement division; that is, a judge has rigged enforcement of the law by not "finding anyone guilty of market manipulation" for over 20 years!

As The Daily Bail puts it:

Wendy Gramm, Judge Bruce Levine & Criminal Behavior At The CFTC--Attention Eric Holder, Federal Prosecutors
By The Daily Bail

Quietly last month, CFTC Case Judge, George H. Painter, issued a "Notice and Order" announcing his retirement from his position. In this notice Judge Painter wrote of a conspiracy at the highest levels of the CFTC (within the enforcement division), where a long time judge of 20 years has been working with past CFTC Chairs to rig the enforcement of the law by never (not once in 20 years) finding anyone guilty of market manipulation. We must be talking about tens of thousands of cases, to put the size of these crimes in scope.

Here are Judge Painter's words:

"There are two administrative law judges at the Commodity Futures Trading Commission: myself and the Honorable Bruce Levine. On Judge Levine's first week on the job, nearly twenty years ago, he came into my office and stated that he had promised Wendy Gramm, then Chairwoman of the Commission, that we would never rule in a complainant's favor. A review of his rulings will confirm that he has fulfilled his vow. Judge Levine, in the cynical guise of enforcing the rules, forces pro se complaints to run a hostile procedural gauntlet until they lose hope, and either withdraw their complaint or settle for a pittance, regardless of the merits of the case"

"In light of these unfortunate facts, if I simply announced my intention to retire, the seven reparation cases on my docket would be reassigned to the only other administrative law judge of the Commission, Judge Levine. This I cannot do in good conscience. Accordingly, I recommend that the Commission request the services of an administrative law judge to be detailed to the Commission from another agency."

His request was granted, and his cases were not assigned to Judge Levine.

Wendy Gramm is a former Enron board member, and former head of the CFTC (1988-1993), and the wife of deregulation neocon Phil Gramm. Here's what Barry Ritholtz said about Wendy Gramm:

A reminder to those of you who may be unfamiliar with this particular corporate harlot: Gramm was not only the former CFTC chair, but she was an Enron board member and wife of deregulation architect Phill Gramm, who for reasons unknown to decent society, is gainfully employed as a fluffer at UBS, helping to further besmirch the reputation of that bailed out firm.

Nice one, Barry!

Levine Notice - pdf

Judge Painter Retirement Letter, WSJ Article on Judge Lynch

Judge Painter Notice and Order.dcpdf-1

Read the article and see the pictures here


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