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July 28, 2010

Finance Regulatory Power Grab Protects SEC From Freedom of Information Act

Posted by Dave Blount at July 28, 2010 10:01 AM

Readers of Moonbattery will know better than to think the government's recent financial overhaul power grab had anything whatsoever to do with draining the swamp that has developed around the revolving door between Wall Street and Big Government. But for the edification of trolls:

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."

Once again, the Manchurian Moonbat was transparently lying.

The SEC is already using the new law to defend itself from public scrutiny:

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.

It's no surprise our rulers want Fox to stop poking its nose into the SEC's business.

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.

Now that Big Government has imposed a little more Obama-style "transparency," Fox Business will be kept in the dark regarding what these kleptocrats are doing with our money — as will the rest of us.

Time will tell what other outrages are buried in the thousands of pages of crap Congress has been passing for Comrade Obama's eager signature quicker than grease through a goose with cholera.

On tips from Ferrell Gummitt, Ianto, and Cowlove. Hat tip: The Market Ticker.