Friday, April 07, 2006

News from the World of Time-Wasting

Today the wires are burning up with news that a federal appeals court -- oh no! -- overturned Securities and Exchange Commission mutual fund governance rules. Why, I'm horrified! Outraged! Or I would be, if these rules meant a damn thing.

"Good governance" is one of those self-evident good things, sort of the regulatory equivalent of a high-fiber diet. The rules would have required that all funds have independent chairmen. That is nice idea, I guess. Hey, I suppose it would be even great if everyone on a mutual fund board were independent. Or maybe even that everyone in the world be independent because, hey, independence is a good thing.

But as I describe in Wall Street Versus America, there is no connection at all between a fund's "governance" and whether the fund has been screwing investors.

So, in other words, here we have yet another example of the SEC wasting time.

Meanwhile, for other tidings from the world of time-wasting, we have Eliot Spitzer's ongoing get-Grasso campaign, also in the news today. Apparently some New York Stock Exchange official altered Grasso pay figures submitted to the NYSE board. I am shocked! Shocked! But it still doesn't make his suit against Grasso and the NYSE any less silly.

The judge overseeing the case suggested today that Spitzer and Grasso settle the case. Good idea. Then Spitzer can, hopefully, pursue his political ambitions in a manner that would actually benefit the public.


Wall Street Versus America will be published by Penguin USA on April 6.
Click here for its listing and here for more information on the book, from my web site.

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