Streetwise Professor

August 19, 2011

America’s Native Criminal Class Strikes Again

Filed under: Commodities,Derivatives,Energy,Politics,Regulation — The Professor @ 10:00 am

I was incorrect to blame the leak of confidential CFTC trade information on the agency itself.  I jumped to a conclusion, and that was wrong.

The malfeasor has been revealed.  It is US Senator Bernie Sanders (Socialist–really–VT):

Oil trading data that exposed the extensive positions speculators held in the run-up to record high prices in 2008 were intentionally leaked by a U.S. senator, sparking broader concern about industry confidentiality as Congress moves on Wall Street reform.

Senator Bernie Sanders, a staunch critic of oil speculators, leaked the information to a major newspaper in a move that has unsettled both regulators and Wall Street alike.

In a June 16 e-mail reviewed by Reuters, a senior policy adviser to Sanders discusses how his office received private data with the names and positions of traders and forwarded it exclusively to a Wall Street Journal reporter.

The e-mail, which also attaches two files with the data, was sent to Public Citizen’s Tyson Slocum asking him to review it and speak with the newspaper about his observations.

In a statement from Sanders provided to Reuters, Sanders said he felt the data needed to be publicly aired.

“The CFTC has kept this information hidden from the American public for nearly three years,” he said. “This is an outrage. The American people have a right to know exactly who caused gas prices to skyrocket in 2008 and who is causing them to spike today.”

No, Senator, the outrage is that you violated confidentiality to engage in political grandstanding.  Moreover, you provide no evidence to support your assertion that the firms and individuals whose identity you revealed “caused gas prices to skyrocket.”  None.

There you have it, ladies and gentlemen.  The Senator from Vermont, providing additional proof, as if any was needed of Mark Twain’s dictum that “America is a nation without a distinct criminal class…with the possible exception of Congress.”

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1 Comment »

  1. Two words: Deep Capture.

    Comment by Mr. X — August 19, 2011 @ 8:05 pm

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