April 20, 2004
This is commentary on the badly needed remedy to fix short term trading on mutual funds. It is a subset of greed in the financial community, but at the end of the day it is UNLAWFUL greed.
The proposed 2 fee for trades shorter duration than 5 days is an insult to the intelligence of the investing public. If you are trying to fix a problem caused by illegal activity in an industry that is self regulated, you must remove the self regulation aspect from the industry. The industry has betrayed the public trust and the SEC. The public has been lethargic in its response because they are so poorly informed, as is the SEC, who is allegedly there to protect the public interest. This is worse than the fox guarding the hen house...as the fox at least has a vested interest.
This proposal will simply line the pockets of the mutual fund industry players who have so loudly proclaimed they did nothing wrong until the press and Elliot Spitzer got hold of the information.
The naive public has done nothing with its money through all of this. They left it entrusted to the mutual fund industry while the gross overvaluation of 2000 became deflated, and when the malfeasance of market timers and embezzlers became apparent in 2003, the public was already resigned to the prospect that it cannot get worse than losing MOST of my retirement money. The country will not be retiring on time for this generation of baby boomers. As a result, the generation Y will be saddled with regressive pay as result of boomers not leaving the workforce...they will be willing to work for whatever compromise is necessary, as they will not be able to afford to retire. too many workers for too few jobs spells wage deflation. Not to worry though, as this problem will only effect people making less than 200K at retirement, as the upper income groups will have redundantly plentiful retirement accomodation as they always have.
Do YOU personally fit this category of less than 200K/ yr income?
I know I do.
If your purpose is to restore the faith of the investing public, you must put the genie back into the bottle. You do this by arresting and prosecuting the large number of mutual fund criminals, and the parties who directly arranged these deals. Prevent them from working in securites and insurance for the rest of their lives. In my opinion, you need to assign someone from outside the SEC as a special prosecutor, and fully empower this office to deal as severely as the law provides, with the types of infractions that still exist.
It is not someone elses future we are discussing here. It is our future...yours and mine. It is your job at the SEC to do the right thing. Please assign a special prosecutor who will do more than take names. Anything less will simply perpetuate the problem, and let the undeserving crooks retire on easy street while the rest of us finance it.