Breaking News! SEC Financial Regulatory Law H.R. 4173 - "Blocks Freedom of Information Act"

Three Republicans helped pass Financial Regulation, It's all hidden until after legislation is passed and signed into law?

This is deceitful and obstruction of information and justice. Call your Congress and Senate and ask; how did you voted? Did you read the bill? What are you thinking? Do you uphold truth and justice? Remind him/her, November is coming.....GrizzlyMama

H.R.4173 : Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act
Sponsor: Rep. Barney Frank [MA-4] (introduced 12/2/2009) Cosponsors (None)
Committees: House Financial Services; House Agriculture; House Energy and Commerce; House Judiciary; House Rules; House Budget; House Oversight and Government Reform; House Ways and Means; Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs
Latest Conference Report: 111-517 (in Congressional Record H4977-5202)
Latest Major Action: Became Public Law No: 111-203 [GPO: Text, PDF]

Voting results for Republicans - all voted Nay except the following.

Scott Brown (R-MA), Yea
Susan Collins (R-ME), Yea

Olympia Snowe (R-ME), Yea

SEC Says New FinReg Law Exempts It From Public Disclosure

By Dunstan Prial

Published July 28, 2010

FOXBusiness

So much for transparency.

Under a little-noticed provision of the recently passed financial-reform legislation, the Securities and Exchange Commission no longer has to comply with virtually all requests for information releases from the public, including those filed under the Freedom of Information Act.

The law, signed last week by President Obama, exempts the SEC from disclosing records or information derived from "surveillance, risk assessments, or other regulatory and oversight activities." Given that the SEC is a regulatory body, the provision covers almost every action by the agency, lawyers say. Congress and federal agencies can request information, but the public cannot.

That argument comes despite the President saying that one of the cornerstones of the sweeping new legislation was more transparent financial markets. Indeed, in touting the new law, Obama specifically said it would “increase transparency in financial dealings."

The SEC cited the new law Tuesday in a FOIA action brought by FOX Business Network. Steven Mintz, founding partner of law firm Mintz & Gold LLC in New York, lamented what he described as “the backroom deal that was cut between Congress and the SEC to keep the SEC’s failures secret. The only losers here are the American public.”

If the SEC’s interpretation stands, Mintz, who represents FOX Business Network, predicted “the next time there is a Bernie Madoff failure the American public will not be able to obtain the SEC documents that describe the failure,” referring to the shamed broker whose Ponzi scheme cost investors billions.

The SEC didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

Criticism of the provision has been swift. “It allows the SEC to block the public’s access to virtually all SEC records,” said Gary Aguirre, a former SEC staff attorney-turned-whistleblower who had accused the agency of thwarting an investigation into hedge fund Pequot Assett Management in 2005. “It permits the SEC to promulgate its own rules and regulations regarding the disclosure of records without getting the approval of the Office of Management and Budget, which typically applies to all federal agencies.”

Aguirre used FOIA requests in his own lawsuit against the SEC, which the SEC settled this year by paying him $755,000. Aguirre, who was fired in September 2005, argued that supervisors at the SEC stymied an investigation of Pequot – a charge that prompted an investigation by the Senate Judiciary and Finance committees.

The SEC closed the case in 2006, but would re-open it three years later. This year, Pequot and its founder, Arthur Samberg, were forced to pay $28 million to settle insider-trading charges related to shares of Microsoft (MSFT: 25.95 ,-0.21 ,-0.80%). The settlement with Aguirre came shortly later.

“From November 2008 through January 2009, I relied heavily on records obtained from the SEC through FOIA in communications to the FBI, Senate investigators, and the SEC in arguing the SEC had botched its initial investigation of Pequot’s trading in Microsoft securities and thus the SEC should reopen it, which it did,” Aguirre said. “The new legislation closes access to such records, even when the investigation is closed.

“It is hard to imagine how the bill could be more counterproductive,” Aguirre added.

FOX Business Network sued the SEC in March 2009 over its failure to produce documents related to its failed investigations into alleged investment frauds being perpetrated by Madoff and R. Allen Stanford. Following the Madoff and Stanford arrests it, was revealed that the SEC conducted investigations into both men prior to their arrests but failed to uncover their alleged frauds.

FOX Business made its initial request to the SEC in February 2009 seeking any information related to the agency’s response to complaints, tips and inquiries or any potential violations of the securities law or wrongdoing by Stanford.

FOX Business has also filed lawsuits against the Treasury Department and Federal Reserve over their failure to respond to FOIA requests regarding use of the bailout funds and the Fed’s extended loan facilities. In February, the Federal Court in New York sided with FOX Business and ordered the Treasury to comply with its requests.

Last year, the network won a legal victory to force the release of documents related to New York University’s lawsuit against Madoff feeder Ezra Merkin.

FOX Business’ FOIA requests have so far led the SEC to release several important and damaging documents:

•FOX Business used the FOIA to obtain a 2005 survey that the SEC in Fort Worth was sending to Stanford investors. The survey showed that the SEC had suspicions about Stanford several years prior to the collapse of his $7 billion empire.

•FOX Business used the FOIA to obtain copies of emails between Federal Reserve lawyers, AIG and staff at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York in which it was revealed the Fed staffers knew that bailing out AIG would result in bonuses being paid.

Recently, TARP Congressional Oversight Panel chair Elizabeth Warren told FOX Business that the network’s Freedom of Information Act efforts played a “very important part” of the panel’s investigation into AIG.

Warren told the network the government “crossed a line” with the AIG bailout.

“FOX News and the congressional oversight panel has pushed, pushed, pushed, for transparency, give us the documents, let us look at everything. Your Freedom of Information Act suit, which ultimately produced 250,000 pages of documentation, was a very important part of our report. We were able to rely on the documents that you pried out for a significant part of our being able to put this report together,” Warren said.

The SEC first made its intention to block further FOIA requests known on Tuesday. FOX Business was preparing for another round of “skirmishes” with the SEC, according to Mintz, when the agency called and said it intended to use Section 929I of the 2000-page legislation to refuse FBN’s ongoing requests for information.

Mintz said the network will challenge the SEC’s interpretation of the law.

“I believe this is subject to challenge,” he said. “The contours will have to be figured out by a court.”

FOXBusiness.com - SEC Says New FinReg Law Exempts It From Public Disclosure: http://bit.ly/aY3u2Y

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Comment by Albert R Fromberger on July 28, 2010 at 4:56pm
WHO WAS PAYED TO WRITE THE BILL, AND WHO SIGNED IT ?
Comment by Albert R Fromberger on July 28, 2010 at 3:09pm
WE ARE MAD AS HELL, AND WILL NOT FORGET THIS BILL .

LIGHTER SIDE

 

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ALERT ALERT

 “Acosta, You Are A Dickhead”.... 


Above: Sebastian Gorka, Jim Acosta

“Jim Acosta is actually worse than anyone imagined.”

Former Trump adviser Sebastian Gorka engaged in a loud verbal altercation with CNN‘s Jim Acosta Thursday, according to the Daily Caller‘s Virginia Kruta.

According to multiple witnesses, Acosta made a flippant remark to Gorka – who just launched his SALEM Radio Network show “America First,” telling him that media-related meetings with the president were for “real journalists” only.

Acosta walked in then, according to Gorka, touched his arm and said “Why are you here? This place is for journalists only,” then walked away. He also noted that the incident occurred in front of fellow SALEM host Mike Gallagher and Sirius Patriot XM host David Webb — and explained that, although they had been in the same building on several occasions, he and Acosta had never officially met prior to this incident.

“Abilio ‘Jim’ Acosta, you are a dickhead,” Gorka fired back at Acosta. – Daily Caller

“For the next 40 minutes, he hid in the back and didn’t come out as I was right by the exit, until I went to the Oval Office,” Gorka told the Caller, adding “Jim Acosta is actually worse than anyone imagined. He’s definitely not a journalist, and he is clearly a cowering coward. I just feel sorry for anyone who is in the White House pool with him and know he is hated by all the actual journalists in the White House.”

John Fredericks@jfradioshow

Wow! Unbelievably NASTY decorum in White House Press Briefing room! @Acosta walks by new radio show host @SebGorka and says to him: “Why are you here? This place is for journalists only.” Really Jim? And too? Welcome to the press room, Seb!

Vince Coglianese of the Daily Caller was there for the exchange, and said “The whole room went silent as Gorka chewed [Acosta] out.”

Sirius Patriot XM host David Webb confirmed the incident, saying “I was right next to Sebastian and he reported accurately what Acosta said. Acosta was serious and condescending.”

View image on Twitter
David Webb   @davidwebbshow

Yes ⁦@Acosta⁩ we do belong in the Press Room. ⁦@SebGorka

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