“JOBS Act” a “Recipe for Fraud” Creating a “Race to the Bottom”

For Immediate Release

Contact: 

Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167

“JOBS Act” a “Recipe for Fraud” Creating a “Race to the Bottom”

WASHINGTON - WILLIAM K. BLACK, blackw at umkc.edu
Available for a limited number of interviews, Black is now an associate professor of economics and law at the University of Missouri, Kansas City and the author of “The Best Way to Rob a Bank is to Own One.” He was the deputy staff director of the national commission that investigated the cause of the savings and loan debacle. He was just interviewed by The Real News: “JOBS Act 2012 a Recipe for Fraud.”

Black recently wrote an open letter signed by several noted analysts: “The JOBS Act is so Criminogenic that it Guarantees Full-Time Jobs for Criminologists,” which states: “As white-collar criminologists (and a former financial regulator and enforcement head) and experts in ferreting out sophisticated financial frauds, our careers and research focus on financial fraud by the world’s most elite private sector criminals and their political cronies. Therefore, we write to thank Congress and the President for preparing to adopt a JOBS Act that will provide us with job security for life. We will be the personal beneficiaries of Congress’ decision to adopt the law without the pesky hearings that would allow critics to launch devastating attacks on the proposed bill based on a brutally unfair tactic — the presentation of facts. Unfortunately, in our professional capacities, we must oppose the bill. This bill is an atrocity.

“The ‘Jumpstart Our Business Startups’ Act, the comically forced effort to create a catchy acronym, is the most cynical bill to emerge from a cynical Congress and Administration. It is an exemplar of why Congressional approval ratings are well below those of used car dealers. The JOBS Act is something only a financial scavenger could love. It will create a fraud-friendly and fraud-enhancing environment. It will add to the unprecedented level of financial fraud by our most elite CEOS that has devastated the U.S. and European economies and cost over 20 million people their jobs. Financial fraud is a prime jobs killer. …

“Among the many fraud-friendly policies that led to the deregulation that prompts our recurrent, intensifying financial crises, the undisputed most destructive aspect is the recurrent, intensifying embrace of the ‘regulatory race to the bottom.’ The ‘logic’ of the argument in the securities law context is that (1) dishonest issuers like bad regulation because it allows them to defraud with impunity, (2) our ‘competitor’ nations (typically described as the City of London) offer weaker regulation to induce the fraudulent issuers to locate abroad, and (3) we must not allow this to happen; we must make sure that fraudulent issuers are based in America. Of course, they never phrase honestly their ‘logic’ about dishonesty. Four national commissions investigated the causes of financial crises — the S&L debacle, the ongoing U.S. crisis, the Irish crisis, and the Icelandic crisis. Each of the commissions has decried the idiocy of the ‘race to the bottom’ dynamic and warned that it must end. The arguments advanced by industry in support of the JOBS Act reflect and worship at the altar of ‘the race to the bottom.’” http://neweconomicperspectives.org/2012/03/the-jobs-act-is-so-criminogenic-that-it-guarantees-full-time-jobs-for-criminologists.html

Background: The New York Times piece this week, “JOBS Act Jeopardizes Safety Net for Investors,” states: “Maybe President Obama should have bought shares in Groupon’s I.P.O. If he had, he would understand what some Groupon investors may be feeling as he prepares this week to sign a new piece of legislation to help start-ups get financing. Had he purchased $10,000 worth of shares on the open market on the first day of public trading for Groupon, the online coupon company based in his hometown Chicago, he would have lost a good chunk of his investment, putting him in the red by almost $4,100 today.”

Also see: “Obama JOBS Act Leaves Labor Fuming In Democratic Feud.”

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