Archive for May 28th, 2013

May 28, 2013

WSJ Blog Quotes Perino on the Financial Crisis and Wall Street Reform

Writing for the Wall Street Journal’s personal finance blog, Total Return, Jason Zweig quoted Professor Michael A. Perino, Dean George W. Matheson Professor of Law, on the prospect of reforming Wall Street.  Professor Perino is the author of the award-winning text, The Hellhound of Wall Street: How Ferdinand Pecora’s Investigation of the Great Crash Forever Changed American Finance (Penguin Press 2010).

Here’s the relevant portion of the post:

In the wake of the 1929 crash, Ferdinand Pecora, who led the investigative Pecora Commission in the U.S. Senate, humiliated one banking titan after another with revelations of self-dealing and other shady behavior. Richard Whitney, president of the New York Stock Exchange, ended up being thrown into the slammer at Sing Sing for embezzlement. The ensuing outrage and revulsion led to the series of reforms that overhauled Wall Street’s practices in the 1930s.

More than a half-century later, prosecutor Rudolph Giuliani went after insider trading with similar zeal, even having some alleged perpetrators hauled off the trading floor in handcuffs. Some of the cases fell apart, but the public’s sense of a level playing field was restored.

However, as Michael Perino, author of a riveting biography of Pecora, The Hellhound of Wall Street, told me in a conversation last year, “It’s only when things get really bad that [the U.S. can] overcome the normal political forces that are at play and we can achieve significant reforms. At this point, it might take another crisis to do something.”


The link to the full blogpost is here:

mike perino


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