Idle Hands - My Comment Letter To The SEC
The NASAA meeting had a good exchange on the subject, and it was illuminating how uniform the understanding was on the mechanisms Wall Street has devised to accommodate "over-voting" - you gotta love how everything has a euphemism on the Street. Lying to shareholders about whether they have legitimate shares, or are merely the proud owners of chits, stops being lying and fraud, and instead becomes a niggling inconvenience, really a clerical nuisance, a paperwork issue like reconciling your checkbook - "over-voting."
I for one don't like to play the euphemism game when it comes to topics related to the theft of America's savings by Wall Street. I don't call mass murder "ethnic cleansing", I don't refer to theft as "re-distribution of wealth", and I don't call fraud and lying "over-voting."
Lying to customers as to what's in their accounts, and then sending out proxies as though they had real shares rather than chits, and tacitly representing to customers via the issuance of those proxies that their votes will count is fraud. It is an artifice to deceive. The truth would be to not send any of them proxies, and simply explain that they don't own shares, thus aren't entitled to any of the rights of a shareholder.
But that isn't what happens.
Instead, as we heard in the NASAA meeting, the industry has a myriad number of ways to deceive everyone, and violate the simple "one share, one vote" presumption that is a cornerstone of capitalism.
And that is outrageous.
The fact that the media ignores this breach of the public trust is both shocking, as well as entirely consistent with its behavior to date - "maybe if we don't talk about it, nobody will notice."
I'm not surprised, just disgusted.
Anyway, I decided to invest a little time into writing a comment letter to the SEC, highlighting my sentiment that it is absurd to worry about the mechanism used to distribute voting materials if the integrity of the voting process is a laughable farce.
That's just me.
I'm sure there's a million good reasons for shareholders to get the impression from their brokers that they have voting rights, when their votes will actually be stuck into the shredder, never to count for anything. I would love for Congress to tackle that logic in open session:
"Mr. Speaker, we, um, decided that we would let everyone into the voting booths because we want everyone to feel involved in the process. If some folks were denied their right to vote, they would become disenfranchised, and believe that they were being duped. That could result in a crisis in confidence in the system."
"Yes, but apparently you disconnect the levers from the voting mechanism whenever a black or brown-skinned person enters the booth, so they don't really get a vote, thus your generosity of spirit is really a hollow cheat, is it not? Aren't you really just lying to them to keep them from lynching you?"
"Well, actually, sometimes we leave the levers engaged, and merely deduct some of the "faux" votes from the "legitimate" votes - some areas do that when they are low on the manpower necessary to disconnect the levers every time. And some areas let everyone vote, and shred all the votes equally, and just vote the way that they know is the right way. So your view is inaccurate."
"Huh. How resourceful."
"Well, your honor, we are all about improving transactional efficiencies."
And so on.