Brooksley Born Takes On The Big Boys And We All Lose

Yesterday I checked in with Blue Sky Rising and found an excellent and concise post about the economic meltdown, and the amazing woman who was warning about it over a decade ago; Brooksley Born.  The six part Frontline special appears to have embedding issues so I have posted the series on Eyeblast.  I am sure you will find the story as riveting as I did, and will recognize the same names you are hearing today as the “great minds” fixing the current economic meltdown.  Please remember that the over-reaching has a boomerang effect; see NY-23.

From BlueSkyRising:

Frontline: The Warning

This is a must watch for all those who wonder what brought about the world’s greatest financial crisis. Over a decade ago, there were many warnings by experts, and regulators that major fraud was being committed on Wall Street that could result in a massive financial crisis. Greenspan, Rubin, and Summers made sure that the regulators were not allowed to enforce the laws that existed on the books to protect the American people from losing their life savings. The banks knew they could get away with fraud, and outright stealing so they expanded their treachery. This excellent Frontline episode is the story of the great regulator, Brooksley Born, and how she warned and tried to regulate the dangerous OTC (Over the Counter) derivatives market when it was revealed that massive fraud was being committed. ‘The Warning’ sheds light on the role Greenspan, Rubin and Summers played in not only controlling our Congress by strongarming them from heading Born’s warning, but also pushing Congress to enact laws that prevented her from regulating the OTC derivatives market altogether. Knowing that her hands were tied, she resigned her leadership of the agency soon after. This is yet another example of how this crisis could have been prevented by our Congress, but they did nothing to protect the American people from losing almost everything they ever worked for. Is there still any question who Congress works for?

“We didn’t truly know the dangers of the market, because it was a dark market,” says Brooksley Born, the head of an obscure federal regulatory agency — the Commodity Futures Trading Commission [CFTC] — who not only warned of the potential for economic meltdown in the late 1990s, but also tried to convince the country’s key economic powerbrokers to take actions that could have helped avert the crisis. “They were totally opposed to it,” Born says. “That puzzled me. What was it that was in this market that had to be hidden?”

Part 1: The Go-Go 90’s

Part 2: Brooksley Born Arrives On The Scene

Part 3: Get This Lady Off Our Backs

Part 4: The Earthquake

Part 5: 1998 – Born’s Warning Becomes A Prophecy

Part 6: Late 2008 Born’s Nightmare Comes True

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