April 7, 2007
We appreciate that in this great country of ours, average Americans like us still have the right to let our voices be heard on important issues.
We've got a few points we'd like to make on this proposal.
Reducing the number of 'Police Departments' monitoring the New York Stock Exchange brokers who still do business with the public is not how you get public investors to feel like we're better protected.
There's a lot of talk that this will be good for investor protection, but there haven't been any examples of how. To people like us, this is just rhetoric and sound bytes.
What speaks loudest to us is that we average public investors weren't invited to the table when these discussions were going on, our opinion was not asked for.
It'd be one thing if there weren't so much opposition from inside the investment business, but there is. And where there's smoke there's fire. The public has a right to know what's going on here, especially since it looks like this proposal changes rules that have been around since FDR.
If this is being done for our good, then we want to know why we have been excluded from participation. We suppose you've gotten input from academics, fellows at the non-profit organizations, lawyers and the like, but you haven't asked us, the mainstream public investor, what we think.
And yet you're asking us to trust you.
How does that work?
The message we're getting is that you're reducing the number of 'police departments' for those big New York firms who need all the policing they can get. Even if you tell us that there will be the same number of 'cops on the beat' as before, that's no answer. To us, it looks a lot like an inside job. Even if it isn't, it looks that way.
You're asking us to trust you, the Regulators.
We already know from plenty of experience that it's not a good idea to trust a salesman who says 'trust me.' We feel the same about politicians. But now here you come along with this big important proposal, asking us to trust you... to trust that you can deliver on an enormous promise - better investor protection and market integrity.
Where we come from, you don't ask people to trust you.
You earn it by actions, not words.
And right now, we don't see any reason to trust that this proposal is going to do what you're trying to convince us it's going to do.
'John and Jane Q. Public' investor