Guest Editorial by Ernest A. Canning
Newly introduced legislation would permit Wall Street wolves to drive off America's financial shepherds.
It is perhaps useful to think of the Wall Street executives who swindled their own investor/clients and nearly devoured the world's economy as predators.
One response to their predations has been exemplified by the Occupy Wall Street "move the money" campaign in which billions of dollars have been transferred from the "too big to fail" Wall Street banks to local banks and credit unions. Another response has come from former Wall Street broker/dealers, who, repulsed by a fraudulent system that created and sold toxic assets to unwitting investors even as their firms bet against the assets, opted instead to become independent Registered Investment Advisors (RIAs) who will only accept fees from their own investor/clients to whom they owe a fiduciary duty to disclose all potential conflicts of interest.
Introduced by Rep. Spencer Bachus (R-AL), the Chairman of the U.S. House Financial Services Committee and the number one fundraiser from commercial banks, finance/credit companies, and mortgage bankers and brokers during the 2011-2012 election cycle, the so-called "Investment Advisor Oversight Act" of 2012 (H.R. 4624) claims that it is meant "to amend the Investment Advisers Act of 1940 to provide for the registration and oversight of national investment adviser associations."
In reality, however, the bill represents nothing less than an effort by the Wall Street wolves to drive off these financial shepherds so that they may feast on a field of unprotected sheep (the consumers of financial products)...