And facing down the rabbit hole: aider-and-abettor liability and state enforcement authority must be addressed and repaired in the financial legislation.

Under the current law, and because of a pair of decisions from the United States Supreme Court, shareholders cannot sue banks, accountants, law firms or other institutions that help companies mastermind fraud without overcoming enormously difficult and patently unfair legal hurdles. I have attached a short paper from the Center for Justice & Democracy that outlines the present state of the law. Any new legislation must even the playing field for investors by making it clear that third parties which counsel fraud are just as liable as the companies they counsel.

The next hurdle to cross is the means to give teeth to the new financial reforms. The best way to do this is by ensuring that state attorneys general have the authority to pursue national banks that defraud their citizenry. The current version of the Senate bill does just that by eliminating regulations that have shielded the banks from predatory practices. You will also find attached below a press release and letter from California Attorney General Jerry Brown which outlines the importance of this provision.

I learned in Sunday School many years ago that there is a season for everything and a time and purpose under heaven for all. I sure hope the powers that be recognize that this is a time to fight.


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