Sense on Cents 2012 Halls of Fame and Shame
The following article is from one of our external contributors. It does not represent the opinion of Benzinga and has not been edited.
As I reflect on the year 2012 I am compelled to bring honor and fame on many individuals who brought real distinction upon themselves while upholding and promoting our prized virtues of truth, transparency, and integrity. This year's inductees into the Sense on Cents Hall of Fame is obviously incomplete.
I remain eternally hopeful and optimistic for our nation knowing that there are individuals such as these in our midst who are willing to stand up and speak out for virtues all too often overwhelmed by those more driven by self-interest and cronyism. For those whom I consider more an embodiment of these character traits (think crony capitalism), the doors to the Sense on Cents Hall of Shame are also opened today and we will find a special spot for them inside.
I do find it particularly interesting that much of the fame is relegated to individuals, while the shame is often directed at organizations and institutions. I link to prior year's inductees at the end of this commentary. On that note and with no further adieu, let's commence with the induction ceremonies:
Sense on Cents 2012 Hall of Shame Inductees
1. Jon Corzine….still counting the returns but this is a landslide…
2. Supreme Court of the United States for failing to hear the Standard Charted vs FINRA case and exposing how Mary Schapiro et al lied in the proxy statement used for the merger that created FINRA.
3. CitiMortgage: after having taken hundreds of billions in bailout funds and still perpetrating mortgage fraud….truly shameful
4. Joe Nocera: reporter for The New York Times who revictimized Madoff investors
5. Al Loewenthal: CEO of Oppenheimer for STILL not repaying investors holding ARS
6. FINRA arbitration aka Kangaroo Court
7. LIBOR Scandal Perpetrators: those involved in this scandal could fill an entirely new wing of our Hall of Shame …special recognition for the senior executives at Barclays, UBS, and elsewhere who “aided, abetted, and supervised ” this RACKETEERING . .
8. Larry Doyle …no not me…the writer Larry Doyle who penned a heinous commentary in The Huffington Post attacking Rick Santorum specifically and people of faith generally . . .
9. Naked Short Sellers: all the firms on Wall Street engaged in this practice over the years that made a mockery of free markets…
10. Hilary Rosen: taking potshots at Ann Romney
11. JP Morgan's London Whale
12. Preet Bharara: for taking on small time insider trading cases and letting the big fish swim free . . .
13. Mary Schapiro: getting inducted for the third time…wouldn't it be great if we could hypnotize her and get her to talk??
14. Russell Wasendorf: ran the scandal at Peregrine Financial
15. National Futures Association: duped by Wasendorf for years…
16. Jerry Sandusky and all those at Penn State who stood by while young children were victimized
17. Standard Investment Chartered, HSBC, Wachovia, and every other financial institution that engaged in massive money laundering scandals
18. The media in our country who have long since ceded their responsibility to pursue the truth and uphold the public interest
19. Teachers unions that put their interests ahead of the children whom they are charged to educate
20. Candy Crowley for interjecting herself into a Presidential debate in a blatantly biased fashion
21. Eric Holder…reasons too many to mention
22. Leaders who do not lead . . .
23. JoAnn Watson: Detroit City Councilwoman calling for a bailout of Detroit by Uncle Barack
The gold, silver, and bronze medals for the 2012 Sense on Cents Hall of Shame all go to the same individual….drum roll please...(little surprise here) ….Jon Corzine….we bestow a special platinum award on the recently departed SEC chair Mary Schapiro…(do not worry Mary, we will not soon forget you in the years ahead)
Let's lift the dark shroud of doom that prevailed over our opening ceremony and honor those who bring light and truth into our world. With no further adieu . . .
2012 Sense on Cents Hall of Fame Inductees
1. Gretchen Morgenson: co-author of the fabulous book Reckless Endangerment, she also writes fabulous weekly commentaries in The New York Times that bring transparency to many parts of our financial and economic landscape that others would rather keep dark and opaque . . .
2. Jeremy Grantham of Grantham Mayo, a true giant among giants in the world of financial management
3. Lucas van Praag of Goldman Sachs who near retirement offered the following wisdom, “you can't legislate and regulate for greed and stupidity.”
4. Sherry Hunt: whistleblower at CitiMortgage who exposed the fraud within that business . . .
5. Kenneth Rogoff: the best economist in the world today. . .
6. Helen Metchikoff and Dean Tofteland: customers of MF Global who had the courage to stand up and speak out about the injustice perpetrated upon them and others….juxtapose these individuals next to one Jon Corzine…
7. Al Lewis: writer for Dow Jones who speaks truth to power like few other writers. . .
8. Ray Dalio, Jeff Gundlach, Bob Rodriguez: along with Jeremy Grantham, these three giants are perhaps the finest money managers in the world today and have the character to share their wisdom with the world at large . . .
9. Niall Ferguson: Harvard University professor who always speaks the truth in bold and daring fashion…
10. Robert Wenzel: editor and publisher of Economic Policy Journal. He was anything but demure in writing, My Speech at the New York Fed and more (must reads)
11. Robert Wilmers: CEO of M&T Bank also penned a fabulous commentary Wall Street vs Main Street
12. Michael Roth: president of Wesleyan University for promoting a program that will help students graduate in 3 years and thus save about 20% of the cost of the education …a real visionary…
13. Tom Coburn (R-OK): in the midst of an interview, Coburn spoke loudly while laying out what all too many in America know all too well. Coburn said, “We have NO leadership.”
14. Rudi K: radio host of Main Street Out Loud a fabulous program that also speaks truth to power and endorses those that do the same …a truly great American. . .
15. Michael Burry: delivered a phenomenal commencement address at UCLA …
16. Jim Bullard: St. Louis Federal Reserve President … a truth teller
17. Neil Barofsky: former Inspector General overseeing the TARP delivered special venom directed at Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner
18. David Skeel: University of Pennsylvania law professor penned a fabulous commentary on the breakdown and lack of respect and practice of the rule of law in our nation
19. Eric Schneiderman: New York Attorney General is a driving force in the pursuit of the ongoing case addressing the manipulation of Libor
20. Benjamin Lawsky: superintendent of the New York State Department of Finance who led the pursuit of the money laundering case against Standard Investment Chartered while the more well known regulators in Washington slow walked this case and others…
21. Joel Thurtell: blogger who exposed the racket embedded in municipal bond transactions for public school financings in California
22. Chris Whalen: THE top banking analyst on Wall Street . . . not even a close second . . .
23. David Weber: formerly the assistant Inspector General at the SEC who is now suing the regulator for a myriad of reasons…
24. All those who comment at Sense on Cents and bring real life to my blog as I try to promote the virtues of truth, transparency, and integrity in the process. I THANK YOU!!
I will defer to you the readers as to whom you believe is deserving of further distinction within the Hall of Fame.
Additionally, I am sure you have your own ideas as to whom I may have overlooked this year and should certainly be inducted into these respective halls. For those who would like to stay a little while longer and review prior year's inductees, I welcome providing the following links:
Happy New Year to all.
I have no affiliation or business interest with any entity referenced in this commentary. The opinions expressed are my own. I am a proponent of real transparency within our markets so that investor confidence and investor protection can be achieved.