Brazen nepotism and self-serving policies are the norm in the revolving door world of finance and its regulators–because they have gotten away with it so handsomely to date. You can read “In Bed with Wall Street” for many sordid details. Here’s just one:
Finra (Financial Industry Regulatory Authority) is the Wall Street funded regulator charged with overseeing investment brokers (approx. 630K of them) and their firms (approx. 4,250). A 22-person board roughly balanced between public and industry members is charged with ‘protecting investors by making sure the United States securities industry operates fairly and honestly’. Sounds good right?
Today Finra reports its board mix as 10 industry members and 12 ‘public’ representatives. Well that’s the PR anyway. See Finance Execs fill ‘public’ board seats at FINRA:
“…if you’re wondering why things don’t always turn out so well for Mom and Pop when they entrust money to a broker, you might ponder the balance of power on Finra’s board…
Among the 12 purportedly “public” representatives on its board, Finra has a guy described by Bloomberg as “a leader in financial services technology,” another who spent 35 years at J.P. Morgan, an insurance executive who once worked at Citigroup and Salomon Brothers, and a fellow who founded a private investment firm.”
These are considered the non-industry, neutral members representing the public’s best interest!! Honestly, if you haven’t looked into the finance mosh pit, you can’t imagine how bad it is. Take your worst-case guesses and triple them.
Cleaning this cesspool up has to be job number 1. Our collective future depends on it.