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MARX: A HERO FOR OUR TIME? — Suddenly, everyone from the Wall Street Journal to Rolling Stone seems to be talking about Karl Marx. Louis Proyect delves into this mysterious resurgence, giving a vivid assessment of Marx’s relevance in the era of globalized capitalism. THE MEANING OF MANDELA: Longtime civil rights organizer Kevin Alexander Gray gives in intimate portrait of Nelson Mandela and the global struggle of racial justice. FALLOUT OVER FUKUSHIMA: Peter Lee investigates the scandalous exposure of sailors on board the USS Reagan to radioactive fallout from Fukushima. SOUTHERN DISCOMFORT: Kim Nicolini charts the rise of Matthew McConaughey. PLUS: Mike Whitney on the coming crash of the housing market. JoAnn Wypijewski on slavery, torture and revolt. Chris Floyd on the stupidity of US policy in Ukraine. Kristin Kolb on musicians and health care. And Jeffrey St. Clair on life and death on the mean streets of an America in decline
The Will to Regulate

Is the SEC Up to the Job?

by LAURA FLANDERS

Tne of the best kept secrets in Washington is the working of the Securities and Exchange Commission. Does it get the job done? Not even close.

Typically, Wall Street is awash in insider trading, accounting games, and let’s not forget campaign contributions — and SEC lawyers are outgunned and outmaneuvered. All this was known before the Bernard Madoff scandal put the SEC to shame and dozens of kiss-and-tell best sellers were published by ex-financiers who, having stashed away enough for themselves and their dynasty of future children, came forward with sordid tales of pocket stuffing.

The agency may have been weak thorughout the Bush years, but it’s not
just the way, it’s the will. Back in ’93, in Clintontimes, Mary Schapiro told an audience in Switzerland that "a more flexible regulatory paradigm" would benefit the financial world. And she wasn’t alone: over at the White House, chief economist Bob Rubin was saying the same.

Rubin, who cashed out of Goldman Sachs with hundreds of millions of dollars, and his lieutenant, Larry Summers, who made millions at a hedge fund, went on to run the Treasury Department. There, this dynamic duo unleashed the forces not of regulation — but its reverse — laying the foundation for the awful mess we are familiar with — speculation upon speculation and leverage upon leverage — producing profits galore but few jobs.

Even the best intentioned SEC, under the the reformed and revitalized Mary Schapiro, can put but a dent in a system so skewed. The case against Goldman’s juicy, but juicier to investors are the bank’s first quarter returns — which are up. It’ll take more than Ms. Schapiro’s lawsuit to topple the applecart of massive accumulation for some and next to nothing for the rest of us.

LAURA FLANDERS is the host of GRITtv, which broadcasts weekdays on satellite TV (Dish Network Ch. More…9415 Free Speech TV) on cable, public television and online at GRITtv.org and TheNation.com. Follow GRITtv or GritLaura on Twitter.com.

 

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