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The Wall Street Journal is having its usual gigantic hissyfit:

As if U.S. financial firms needed another reason to move to Europe and Asia, Senator Bernie Sanders keeps trying: Now they can't trust that confidential trading information will be kept, well, confidential.

The Independent-Socialist from Vermont recently released to the media the trading positions of banks and other companies in crude oil futures and other commodities as of June 30, 2008. While Mr. Sanders acknowledged the move "may have upset Wall Street speculators," he said in a statement that "the American people have a right to know exactly what caused ...

WSJ has finally succeeded in blocking my non-subscriber access and that's all I can pull up, but it probably follows along the reasoning below the fold:

31 August, 2011 - 14:53
FIA 'shocked and outraged' after Senator leaks oil trading data
The Futures Industry Association (FIA) says its members have been "shocked and outraged" by the leaking of confidential oil trading data by a US senator.
Senator Bernie Sanders handed the Wall Street Journal names and positions of traders covering the run up to a period of record oil prices in 2008 before posting the documents on his Web site.

The data was initially gathered by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission in 2008 but an internal investigation has found no evidence that a member of its staff was responsible for handing it to Sanders.

Bully to the Senator for disclosing the manner in which we were royally screwed by Wall Street in 2008. I fail to see what that should not be public knowledge, inasmuch as it had a great deal to do with the collapse of my 401K and other financial matters in my life, not to mention the lives of millions of other Americans.

Explaining his decision to leak, Sanders says: "This report clearly shows that in the summer of 2008 when gas prices spiked to more than $4 a gallon, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, and other speculators on Wall Street dominated the crude oil futures market causing tremendous damage to the entire economy. The CFTC has kept this information hidden from the American public for nearly three years. That is an outrage."

Yeah, what the Senator said.

Senator Sanders has a complete list of offenders at:

Every page is stamped "Confidential" but why that should be so 3 years after the fact is beyond my comprehension, believing as I do in "The Public's Right to Know."

WSJ reports:

Commodities traders, unlike big buyers and sellers of stocks, have never had to disclose their holdings publicly. But that hidebound system is coming under attack.

Tyson Slocum, a member of a Commodities Futures Trading Commission advisory committee and director of the energy group at advocacy organization Public Citizen, this afternoon officially proposed a dramatic change in transparency of energy traders. He delivered a letter to members of Congress and commissioners at the CFTC formally asking that company-specific data be released two weeks after the daily close.

Why not? What right have Goldman Sachs, et al, to keep their nefarious business secret when it has such a huge effect on millions of American lives? Does the corporate right to secrecy overrule the right of an individual "natural person" not to be financially ruined by corporate shenanigans?

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Comment Preferences

  •  Rules of thumb (7+ / 0-)

    If it pisses of the WSJ it's a good thing
    If Bernie Sanders does something it's a good thing
    This is "two thumbs up" good thing.

    Oil (and other commodities, grain for instance) prices are being manipulated and hurting Americans, especially the poor, for the benefit of a very few corporations and the super-rich. Way to go Bernie!

    Modern Conservatism isn't simply about them owning as much as possible; it's also about breaking anything they can't own.

    by ontheleftcoast on Thu Sep 01, 2011 at 09:58:54 AM PDT

    •  What the Fuck? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ontheleftcoast, m16eib

      Why was this guy HRed?

      BTW, you can read the whole article by going to Google news, searching for it, and then clicking on it from there.

      I just read the article, and it basically said, "If you keep doing all this, then all the traders will go to London and Singapore." (The comments section is a real trip too)

      As to the traders moving to Singapore, good.  If we get the banksters to move overseas, then we diminish their effect on the political process.

      6/24/05: Charlie the Tuna Creator Dies En lieu of flowers, please bring mayonnaise, chopped celery and paprika.

      by LunkHead on Thu Sep 01, 2011 at 02:55:23 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Automatic tip jars are getting HR's by accident (0+ / 0-)

        The 'Hide' button is now where the 'Recommend' button used to be and the "You only have X hide rate" dialog is being blocked in some browsers. Put the two together and... ct is apparently working on a fix. Just putting some text that would space it back over like "Main Tip Jar" would probably fix it.

        Modern Conservatism isn't simply about them owning as much as possible; it's also about breaking anything they can't own.

        by ontheleftcoast on Thu Sep 01, 2011 at 04:03:55 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  They're so mad that they're all going to move (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Kinak, jfromga, zett, m16eib, gooderservice

    to Europe?

    That worked out well for those AIG guys in London right?


    In an Aug. 22 letter to CFTC Chairman Gary Gensler, Sanders said the 2008 data showed that banks and other speculators harmed the economy. “We now know that excessive oil speculation is a major reason why oil prices have risen so sharply,” he wrote.

    More where that came from please, Mr. Senator.

  •  So? (0+ / 0-)
    This report clearly shows that in the summer of 2008 when gas prices spiked to more than $4 a gallon, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, and other speculators on Wall Street dominated the crude oil futures market...

    So? So the banks saw upcoming shortages of oil and they purchased oil futures. Big deal. You know, banks aren't giant motors that burn oil. Their trading may drive up the price of oil, but they do so by buying it at higher and higher prices. Eventually, they need someone to buy the oil from them at the higher prices for the moves to be profitable. Which, of course, happened, because the price of oil was unsustainably low.

    ...causing tremendous damage to the entire economy.

    This didn't cause tremendous damage to the economy. That's an unsupported of logic. He needs to show why and how to make this claim.

    Try looking at things another way.

    by atheistben on Thu Sep 01, 2011 at 10:28:09 AM PDT

    •  At a time when these banksters (2+ / 0-)

      should have been selling off futures on every commodity they owned to PAY OFF THEIR MASSIVE GAMBLING DEBTS, which would have forced a huge price drop in those commodities and huge price drops for consumers across the board, instead they were getting trillion dollar corporate welfare checks and driving up the cost of living for us.

      But this is all fine by you?


      Now a question for anyone else: Does it look they manipulated these markets?

      ePluribus Media
      Collaboration is contagious!

      by m16eib on Thu Sep 01, 2011 at 11:54:55 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Go Bernie! (4+ / 0-)

    I want a Bernie Sanders t-shirt that says "Ask me who this guy is" just so I can have an excuse to direct them to the truth he's he'll get even more supporters. :)

    Ber-nie! Ber-nie! Ber-nie!

  •  speculation=free market ideology (0+ / 0-)

    The two cant be separated.

    •  That ability to collude on commodities speculation (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      m16eib, A Runner

      in secret, so as to ladder up our prices, over a nice long run, is what the WSJ investor class spokes-folks do not want have surrendered to transparency and regulatory oversight.  

      I think I can understand their thinking.  See, It's not really a free market if the government is trying to peek at our poker hands as we place big 'risky' bets on the needs our invisibly rigged free market is supposed to meet.  Suppose some little people decide to and allowed to call our collective bluffs or, worse, clamour for a spot at our exclusive speculative gambling table...or heinous of crimes--demand some sort of refund of our carefully engineered heist, er, earnings?  What happens to the once healthy invisible hand of the free market then?  You all know for certain that the Free Market won't work right if the invisible hands are made visible.  We've shouted that at you all for decades and still some of you liberals won't listen.  It will kill your jobs for certain, breaking a financial taboo like that!  Try and shine some sort of light on our invisible hands and, sorry you nosey common folks, you lose your jobs!  Oh, and we've already bet on that.

      We should not forget how important secrecy, commodities availability planning, and limiting government regulation were when VP Cheney met with heads of oil companies at the start of the Bush/Cheney era.  We'd probably say the investor class folks deemed that as 'good government', to allow their free hands in the market to be made even more invisible to regulation, opportunity, etc.  Accountability, fairness, honesty, transparency, moderation...such things are terrible handcuffing hindrances for our free market's invisible hands.  It's just not capitalism's One True Way.

      So the WSJ is trying to school us as to how it is obviously pure socialist evil to try to make visible those acts of the savvy 'invisible hands' of Wall Street and Oil execs in our Free Market.  Trying to argue it's financial sacrilege to dare try and handcuff these primary innovative engines and magicians of the economy with dull and plodding governmental oversight, and worse, to be made subject to the emotional whims of public scrutiny.  It's just commodities after all, it's not like people have to have oil, food, water to survive, and commodity production needs our careful contracting shepherding production and prices, right?  ...oh, wait, our little consumer citizens can't really function without all that stuff?  Don't worry.  We'll keep trickling it down...and, as God blesses us, fortunes will continue to be made. How convenient...for the very savvy invisible investing insider class folks, making money invisible hand over invisible fist.  And how silly of us little folk to imagine this was OUR free market, where our pocketbook buying choices mattered...  See, secret market manipulation by invisible investor hands is just so much more efficient at innovatively engineering profits for the real capitalist investor classes than that theoretical free and open market.  And if you don't understand, you're just not business savvy or financially educated and must be opposed to free enterprise.

      If I recall right, we tried to do our duty on the demand side of the hallowed law of economic supply/demand. I believe we little commodities buyers, er consumers, were trying to use less or about the same amounts of fuel during this time--lots less of us driving to jobs once unemployed, even though the oil prices kept being driven something...maybe Peak Oil?  Ok, and it was inconvenient for us, that around this time there were events which were reported as possible factors in price increases. There was a refinery that went off line for a spell, which happened to make supply iffy, and perhaps drop a bit more than our decreased demand.  And then there was that whole BP Gulf catastrophe, a problem with piracy holding back a few tankers, tankers having other major problems, Venezuela's cantankerous problems...  Always something handy for news folks to point to while prices keep rising.

      Ok, it's not just we citizens affecting supply and demand. We should not forget our government's role as consumer of fuel, which, thanks to the war effort, may be consuming as much as 80% of the energy Americans buy.  I suppose the usage of our government & UK for the overseas wars remained pretty high, if not going up for a bit during the big push intensification of the war efforts in Afghanistan. convenient for the savvy invisible investors locking in those contracted profits.

      We hundreds of millions of little citizens tried to do the right thing to decrease our demand for fuel, switching to more fuel efficient vehicles, being more efficient with travel, and yet for quite a collection of coincidental reasons, the end result is the actual supply level available at the pump ends up cut enough to keep it seems plausible that, sorry folks, prices just have to stay up or go up more.  And so the WSJ folks could hail without shame the great news of several quarters, even several years, of 'record profits' for bankers and oil companies, which has been greatly pleasing the shareholder and investor classes, while greatly emptying of our fraying consumer pocketbooks and wallets.

      When life gives you wingnuts, make wingnut butter!

      by antirove on Thu Sep 01, 2011 at 01:21:53 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Economic Terrorism... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    ... courtesy of the big Wall St. crime families.

    ePluribus Media
    Collaboration is contagious!

    by m16eib on Thu Sep 01, 2011 at 11:48:34 AM PDT

  •  But all we're hear/read about for the next (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    gooderservice, m16eib

    week is JobSpeechScheduleGate...


    You are part of the rebel alliance and a traitor.

    by psychodrew on Thu Sep 01, 2011 at 12:00:50 PM PDT

  •  Why should I build a factory to make (0+ / 0-)

    Solar panels for a 5 or 10% return, when I can engage in commodities speculation for a 20-25% return.If tax rates are increased and good behavior is rewarded, the big time speculators will be in higher tax brackets.

    For example, if we add 5 brackets and make the top rate 70%, we can then offer tax breaks for emerging tech and markets, this will drive huge volumes of Capital into US Jobs, in Solar wind etc.

    Historically when the top rate was 90% the effective rates around 45%, when the top rate was 70% the effective rate was 34%. This is good industrial policy thats been lacking since the Reagan era.

    Its not about tax fairness, its about having a progressive tax that promotes a good stable society that functions. These sorts of tax policy changes will create US Jobs which results in More FICA being paid which means we push back the 2036 SS date to 2050 or 2055. It promotes building the next generation of energy infrastructure so that we dont have to dig up the tar sands. This reverses income disparity.

    FDR 9-23-33, "If we cannot do this one way, we will do it another way. But do it we will.

    by Roger Fox on Thu Sep 01, 2011 at 01:50:22 PM PDT

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