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With Democrats like Representative Carolyn Maloney of New
York, who needs the Republicans? When special interests pursue self-interested
legislation - or seek to block legislation that affects their
interests - Maloney waves the jobs and economic growth flag for campaign
contributors rather than defending investors.
Maloney voted for the JOBS Act in spite of the fact the
bill destroys investor protections hard-won after the Enron fraud in the
Sarbanes-Oxley Act. Maloney also recently spoke up on behalf of the audit
industry instead of investors during a hearing held by the House Subcommittee
on Capital Markets and Government Sponsored Enterprises. PCAOB Chairman Jim
Doty testified about several agency initiatives to increase auditor
independence, transparency, and accountability for auditors behaving badly.
Maloney joined Republican Congressmen who pushed back hard on Doty and the
PCAOB, the audit industry regulator, accusing the regulator of "mission
creep" and "overreach".
Maloney represents Manhattan's East Side and Queen's West
Side, the home of the financial services industry including the US headquarters
of all of the Big Four accounting firms. Maloney serves on three key
subcommittees of the House Committee on Financial Services because she,
"believe[s] one of my chief tasks is to maintain the preeminence of New York
City as the world's financial center." Maloney is "committed to defending the
health of our financial institutions so that they can lead our economic
But, in my opinion, she's no expert on financial services
or accounting policy.
Maloney's real interests show up at the most inopportune
moments. Back in 2000, before the Enron scandal, Richard Baker, a Louisiana Republican,
ran the House Subcommittee on Capital Markets. He was very worried at the time
about Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Baker saw the writing on the wall with the
mortgage giants, behemoth Government Sponsored Enterprises (GSEs) that were
eventually nationalized under a conservatorship in September of 2008 because of
the significant losses they racked up from subprime mortgage securitization.
Taxpayers are still paying the bill for the inattention by so many for so long
to the accounting manipulation, fraud, and excessive risk taking at the GSEs
that put both public companies into receivership.
Read this article in its entirety at the re: The Auditors, a blog
by Francine McKenna.
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