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Riddled With Corruption

Two More Public Officials “Cash In”

by MIKE WHITNEY

Is there anything more maddening then watching elected officials and regulators cash in for their time in office?

Here’s two more names you can add to the list: Former SEC chief Mary Schapiro and ex-US Senator Scott Brown (R-MA). Schapiro, the feckless sellout who accomplished absolutely zero as chairman of the once-feared Securities and Exchange Commission, is pegged to join General Electric’s board of directors. According to an article in Marketwatch:

“GE Chairman and Chief Executive Jeff Immelt said Ms. Schapiro’s experience overseeing U.S. financial markets and understanding of corporate governance and financial regulation will benefit the company.”

What an outrage! Can you imagine how subservient you’d have to be to get rewarded by the very industries you were supposed to regulate? If Schapiro had ever lifted a finger against GE or any of the other monster corporations that run the country, her career would now be kaput. Instead, she’s going to rake in millions for sleeping through tedious board meetings where she’ll contribute absolutely zilch. Such a deal.

Keep in mind that during her time at the SEC, Schapiro completely missed the Bernie Madoff fiasco, failed to implement any of the new Dodd-Frank legislation, did nothing to reduce the risks connected to high-frequency trading (HFT), money markets, Too Big To Fail, derivatives trading or virtually any other area of the increasingly-wobbly and crisis-prone financial system. Her 4-year tenure was a complete bust where no high-ranking Wall Street executive or top dirtbag banker was ever indicted, prosecuted, arrested, tried or sent to prison. Not even one!

Good job, Mary. Hope you get a big fat check from Mr Immelt for your patriotic service to the country!

Then there’s FOX News “on-air contributor” and waterboarding afficianado, Scott Brown. According to the Boston Globe, Brown will be “joining the Boston law firm of Nixon Peabody, where he will focus on matters relating to the financial services industry and commercial real estate. (He) will be leaning heavily on his Washington contacts to drum up business for the firm, he will not be a lobbyist, according to Nixon Peabody officials.” (boston.com)

Here’s more from Think Progress:

“Among the lobbying clients represented by Nixon Peabody is Goldman Sachs… Brown received $10,000 in PAC contributions from Goldman and more than $100,000 in contributions from its employees.” (“After Watering Down Financial Reform, Ex-Senator Scott Brown Joins Goldman Sachs’ Lobbying Firm”, Think Progress)

Nice, eh? Sounds like “Wall Street’s Favorite Congressman” (Forbes) should be able to pad the old nestegg due to his unflinching loyalty to the “people who count”. Here’s more from the Globe via wikipedia:

“On December 12, 2010, the Boston Globe reported that “[c]ampaign contributions to [Brown] from the financial industry spiked sharply during a critical three-week period last summer as the fate of the Wall Street regulatory overhaul hung in the balance and Brown used the leverage of his swing vote to win key concessions sought by firms.” Brown received more than ten times the amount of contributions from the financial services industry as House Financial Services Committee chairman Barney Frank during the same period. According to the Globe:

“Brown’s efforts benefited large Massachusetts companies such as MassMutual Financial Group, Liberty Mutual Insurance, Fidelity Investments, and State Street Corp., whose executives and political action committees contributed $29,000 to Brown during the three-week period he was extracting the concessions from Democrats. They also benefited major out-of-state institutions such as Goldman Sachs, UBS, and JPMorgan Chase. Those and other out-of-state financial interests gave Brown a total of $50,000 during the period.”

Looks like Wall Street loves the ethically-challenged Mr. Brown, who’s also a big fan of the universally-condemned practice of “simulated drowning” known as waterboarding.

Here’s the scoop from the Globe:

“After a press conference in Boston in which he called for a freeze on wages for federal employees, Brown, in response to a question, told reporters that Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, 23, the Nigerian accused of trying to blow up a passenger jet en route to Detroit on Christmas Day, should be treated as an enemy combatant, taken to the US detention camp at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, interrogated “pursuant to our rules of engagement and laws of war,’’ and not be treated as a civilian criminal suspect. Brown asserted that waterboarding does not constitute torture, but he did not specifically say Abdulmutallab should be subjected to waterboarding.” (“Brown and Coakley clash over terror suspects’ rights”, boston.com)

There you have it! Is it any wonder why the country is in such bad shape when you look at the apple-polishing suck-ups and carpetbagging, human rights abusing scoundrels who are in charge? And Schapiro and Brown are just the tip of the iceberg. The whole system is riddled with corruption from top to bottom.

MIKE WHITNEY lives in Washington state. He is a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion (AK Press). Hopeless is also available in a Kindle edition. He can be reached at fergiewhitney@msn.com.