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The Regulation of Regulation

In the 1960’s there was a Hollywood Production code that determined what could be shown on television. The Music Picture Association of America had censors determine what had to be removed from various shows.

Because of TV censorship rules, actress Mariette Hartley was not allowed to show her belly button on Gene Roddenberry’s Star Trek [episode #78 “All Our Yesterdays” (1969)]. Later, as a way to get back at the censors, Roddenberry got even by casting Hartley with “two” belly buttons in the Science Fiction move Genesis II (1973)

As to financial regulation, let’s look back at October 24, 1929. It is now known as the first day of the great Wall Street Crash of 1929. It is listed in history as Black Thursday.

Congress began to investigate the cause of the crash and amazing instances of fraud, skullduggery (I have always wanted to work that word into a blog!), and downright unscrupulous behavior. That’s when the idea was being floated to create an agency to regulate Wall Street. (In 1934, the Securities Exchange Commission was formed for just that purpose)

As the topic of Wall Street regulation was being debated, there were many against such regulation and oversight. For instance, Richard Whitney, president of the New York Stock Exchange (1930-1935), was one voice who assured Congress that meddlesome bureaucrats would be bad for the market and bad for business. He told Congress that Wall Street could better police itself.

BEIJING, CHINA - MAY 17: A giant panda plays in a rocking chair at Beijing Zoo on May 17, 2017 in Beijing, China. (Photo by VCG/VCG via Getty Images)

Maybe he thought that it’s much like this picture. If you give a Panda Bear a rocking chair, he will voluntarily stay in the chair. (Or maybe I just wanted an excuse to post a picture of a bear in a rocking chair)

If you click on the attachment of Richard Whitney, you can see what can happen with ‘voluntary”. After that self-regulation speech, he went on to steal $150,000 worth of bonds and $667,000 from the Stock Exchange Gratuity Fund, that had been set-up as a fund to aid widows and orphans of brokers.

Just something to think about when you hear politicians talk about why regulation is always bad. Or that it is restrictive and should be abolished. Sometimes, rules are necessary. Plus, no one would watch football if there were no rules… right?

And that takes us to pic o’ day, which is not good advertising:


Snowden’s Passwords

In the movie Wall Street the classic line to cue an inside sale was “Blue Horseshoe loves Anacott steel” because it meant that Gordon Gekko had some insider trading information and everyone down the line needed to get in on the stock trade.

In that same movie, Gordon Gekko turns to Bud Fox and says, “The most valuable commodity I know of is information, wouldn’t you agree?” It’s based on the same premise that ” loose lips sink ships!”

Those quotes came to mind as I read about all the damage that Eric Snowden has done to our United States’ intelligence. The intelligence community is still trying to assess the amount of damage that has been done.

Up until now, it has been difficult to grasp how Snowden, as a contract employee for the National Security Agency, could possibly have secured all that information. Now, there might be an answer to explain it.

Reuters News  is now reporting that fellow workers unwittingly provided their passwords to Snowden, allowing him to access material that otherwise would have been blocked.  It is estimated that over 25 employees gave their passwords to him after he convinced them that he needed the passwords, because he needed access as a computer systems administrator.

Even employees who had been trained and warned, still let their guard down. They made the mistake in believing that everyone was an insider; and therefore, everyone was trustworthy.

On this Veteran’s Day, we stop to thank the estimated 23 million veterans in this country who have served, with the other 2.3 million who are in active duty. They are the opposite of what Snowden stands for, in that they have protected us and our freedoms.

The story of Snowden is not over. He will be brought to justice. At the same time, it is also a reminder that the enemy does not rest.

DID YOU KNOW that in West Virginia, no one may walk a lion, tiger or leopard; even on a leash. Of course it is also law that anyone who curses or swears in public will be fined one dollar for each offense.  (I just came back from West Virginia and I did not see anyone break the first law, but I may have heard the second law violated)

Vet 1                                                                  Vet 2

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