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Revolving door

Posted by david52 z5CO (My Page) on
Sat, Jan 28, 12 at 13:59

While America focused on New Hampshire, a classic example of revolving-door politics took place in Washington, going almost completely unnoticed. It's a move that ranks up there with the hire of Louisiana congressman Billy Tauzin to head the pharmaceutical lobbying conglomerate PhRMA -- at a salary of over $2 million a year -- immediately after Tauzin helped ram through the Medicare Prescription Drug Bill, a huge handout to the pharmaceutical industry.

In this case, the hire involves Walter Lukken, who toward the end of the Bush years was the acting head of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission. As the chief regulator of the commodities markets, it was Lukken's job to spot and combat speculative abuses and manipulations that might have led to artificial price hikes and other disruptions.

In 2008, the last full year of his tenure, Lukken presided over some of the worst chaos in the commodities markets in recent history, with major disruptions in the markets for food products like wheat, cotton, soybeans, and rice, and energy commodities like oil.

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By insisting that the spike was "not a result of manipulative forces," Lukken helped Wall Street in its efforts to avoid reforms that might have prevented such abuses, like the closing of a series of loopholes and exemptions that allowed a handful of major speculators to play a lopsided role in the setting of commodity prices.

So what was Lukken's reward for helping the financial services industry avoid such reforms? Well, Lukken has just been named to head the Futures Industry Association, or FIA, the chief lobbying arm of futures investors.

This follows the Tauzin pattern of revolving-door hires: a government official carries water for a powerful industry, then moves on to take the cushy job with the industry's lobbying arm once he leaves office.

Among people who follow these markets for a living, the Lukken hire had an embarrassingly over-the-top quality, like a CEO who goes the appearances-be-damned route and puts his 23 year-old secretary/mistress on the board of directors.

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It was a see-no-evil, hear-no-evil approach to government oversight, which had far-reaching consequences in that crisis year. The CFTC, remember, also has purview over derivatives, meaning the failure to prevent the disastrous swap positions accumulated by the likes of AIG also falls, in part anyway, at the CFTC's doorstep.

A Dow Jones news story contained a hilarious summary of Lukken's blase administrative style, in which he was described as having downplayed the whole being-a-stickler-for-rules aspect of regulation:

When Lukken headed the CFTC, he backed a more flexible, "principles-based" approach to regulation, different from what was seen as the prescriptive and "rule-based" methods employed by the Securities and Exchange Commission, which polices stock markets.

Obviously this kind of thing has been going on forever in Washington, but some revolving-door hires feel worse and more shameless than others, and this is one of those. But really it's the same old story: regulators keep falling down on the job, and keep getting rewarded for it by Wall Street, and nothing gets done about it.

Here is a link that might be useful: link


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Revolving door

Not surprised.

What a racket our elected officials have going on for them, and the people they appoint and hire with our tax dollars.


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RE: Revolving door

This topic does not have the weighty cachet of the OP about a 16-yr-old leading the banning of prayer in public schools. I doubt that this OP will accumulate more than 15 meaningful posts.


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RE: Revolving door

some revolving-door hires feel worse and more shameless than others...

And others rarely merit a mention, as in the case of retired generals sitting on the boards of directors of defense contractors while having an advisory role at the Pentagon - including weapons development.

Hey, we've been doing this like forever! What's your problem, buddy?


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RE: Revolving door

This back and forth, in and out, revolving door that connects the financial and industrial worlds quite effectively with our legislating and governing process, ensuring a full and flowing trough from which to slop from has got to stop. Has no one found the button that stops the door from revolving, or can someone please shove a stick in it so the motor burns out?


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RE: Revolving door

There are 122 members of Congress in the OpenSecrets Revolving Door who lobbied for health clients since 2007.

Create the opportunity and they will lobby for it.

Dick Armey. Tom Daschle. Tom Foley. Trent Lott. Once, these politicos ranked among Congress' most powerful members. Today, they share another distinction: They're lobbyists (or "senior advisors" performing very similar work). And they're hardly alone. Dozens of former members of Congress now receive handsome compensation from corporations and special interests as they attempt to influence the very federal government in which they used to serve. See where members of the 111th Congrees have gone.

Here is a link that might be useful: Find your favorite representative.


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RE: Revolving door

  • Posted by ohiomom 3rdrockfromthesun (My Page) on
    Mon, Jan 30, 12 at 7:29

....and you wonder why we occupy ?


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RE: Revolving door

And look where those lobbyists end up?

Here is a link that might be useful: link


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Maybe we should take it to the streets, Oh, wait! Some already have, and some are now being teargassed...


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That is particularly egregious. Matt Taibi wrote that great piece for Rolling Stone a few years back. The Great American Bubble machine and showed the revovling door between Goldman Sachs and govt going back 100 years.

I came across this petition yesterday...

Get the money out! Occupy.

Here is a link that might be useful: sign it


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RE: Revolving door

I would like to sign that petition, but it divulges personal information, name and residence.

No thanks. I don't need any stalkers!


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RE: Revolving door

Nothing new. Nothing New. Move along. Nothing to see.


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Occupy


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bump


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RE: Revolting door

The 16-yr-old thread have generated over 230 posts whereas this op, discussing massive corruption, doesn't even garner a yawn.


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RE: Revolving door

Perhaps it's because we all know that it is true marshall, but feel impotent in knowing what to do about it.


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Excellent point there about ignoring a subject because it is too important to decide what to do about it firt before discussing the problem.

...but the personal values of a 16-yr-old girl can be discussed in detail because everyone has opinions that are as valid as the girl's, if they come from the acceptable belief systems.


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RE: Revolving door

The Occupation isn't over by a long shot... Occupy Everywhere!


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True marshall, a topic that definitely shouldn't be ignored. But it's exactly why politicians lie to us. No lobbyist in my cabinet. I'm sure Obama isn't the first to say it. Then fill the cabinet with lobbyists and we say...oh well. It's what they depend on.


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bump


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The sad part is that "throwing the bums out" become counter productive. The legislative and executive branches are left with either career bureacratics or political appointees, most of the latter coming from the lobbying end of the system. In California, with the advent of limited terms of service, few of the Assembly people and Senators are qualified, especially for leadership positions. They end up accepting legislative initiatives written by experienced lobbyist and submitting with often little revision as the lawmakers' own bills.

We have seen this discussed in HT where all across the country new laws reading like xerox copies, have been introduced by Republicans, in this case.


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RE: Revolving door

the 16-yr-old meme has already recorded over 275 posts. Just makes me proud to be an American, ignoring ALEC and other assaults on the American Way,.


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It's a them against us thread marshall. They will always get the most attention.

We are watching our absentee governor, a republican btw, trying to privatize everything, in order to position himself for vp or a White House run. But he is even privatizing things that make money for the state, or pay for themselves. One state government entity that he privatized a couple of years ago has already gone in the hole 6.8 million dollars and the state is going to have to bail them out.

Throwing the bums out is always an option, but is the next bum you get better or worse? Even on a local level, it's usually the ones with enough money to mount a campaign that wins the election.

Case in point. We have a parish president. The one we currently have has held the office since dinosaurs walked the earth. About four years ago a black man, a college professor, ran against him. The man was brilliant, he had wonderful ideas to improve our schools and our parish. But he had no money, and no organization. No way to get his message out. Those of us who had talked to him, of course shared with friends and family his message, but it wasn't enough. He didn't even get the black vote. The incumbent with money and name recognition walked away with the presidency yet again and left the rest of us shaking our heads.


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Just makes me proud to be an American, ignoring ALEC and other assaults on the American Way.

God and dogs seem to be the two topics that receive the most posts.

Lavish use of ALEC's templates appears to be the pattern for future GOP-dominated legislatures.

Privatization has been the mantra of the GOP for some time; no distinction is made between government programs that function well and those that are less successful. The GOP thinks that government is bad -- except the Pentagon-intelligence-prison-industrial complex.


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The 16-yr-old thread have generated over 230 posts whereas this op, discussing massive corruption, doesn't even garner a yawn.

Two sides of the same coin.


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RE: Revolving door

But you can depend on a snark on almost any thread.


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This is the sort of thing that keeps life flowing in the Occupy movement. The same one which some people here make fun of. At least they are trying to DO somethig rather than doing nothing or complain about it on H.T.

Write a letter to all your reps telling them what you think about this. Silence on any topic such as this sends a loud message to them and they listen to it carefully.


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RE: Revolving door

Just to keep track of Monsanto's fingers and toes, and perhaps some unmentionable parts polluting the ag world:

324 tags for "Monsanto" in the Farmer-Stockman ag mag for the past year or so.

Here is a link that might be useful: Monsanto at large: APB


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