In the last couple of days revelations have come to light that the SEC has actually been destroying documents in cases that have come to a stoppage of investigation for various reasons. The story behind the destruction of these documents can be read here and here .
As can be easily gleaned from the articles (and I am sure there are many more out there) it is easy to see that the reason that what little we know has come to light has been because of the reaction of our own Senator Chuck Grassley. For this I say, Thank You very much.
Grassley has long been critical of the SEC. His reaction upon hearing about the destruction of documents is what those of us who believe in good government would hope that any lawmaker would have, no matter which party they hail from.
According to the articles, there have been upwards of 9,000 preliminary investigation files destroyed. This is just incredible. After the shenanigans that have been taking place in the financial world for the past 30 years and especially the past 10 we now find that most likely much of the investigative work has been destroyed.
A year ago, Senator Grassley voted no on the Dodd-Frank Wall Street regulation bill stating at the time that it did not go far enough. At the time my feeling was that anything, anything was better than nothing even though negotiations in the senate had neutered many good features of the bill.
I am wishing Mr. Grassley well following up on this. I hope he and the committee in charge of this matter where he is the ranking member (Senate Judiciary Committee) goes as deep as they possibly can in this matter. I hope that true reform will be the end product of his investigation. So many Americans have lost so much to Wall Street. Trust of our financial system is one of the bedrocks of the United States.
Through the years I have been a vocal critic of Mr. Grassley. Over the years I have felt his policies to be quite anti-people. Yet, on this one I am hoping he can be the go-to guy. Much as only Nixon could go to China, maybe Chuck Grassley can bring reform to Wall Street.
Let me add that one discouraging note in this scenario is that when we look at who contributes to Grassley’s campaigns, the financial sector ranks high on his list. let us hope that makes no difference, as he always claims. (contribution chart here: opensecrets.org/)
And finally a major tip of the hat to Matt Taibbi and Rolling Stone Magazine. At a time when many news companies have cut investigative funding and staff, Matt Taibbi and Rolling Stone continue to break major stories of corruption in government. That is what freedom of the press is about.