Donald Trump is appointing Paul Atkins to oversee financial deregulation and maybe even head the SEC.
In a story yesterday, the Wall Street Journal said he had “libertarian political views.”
Haha! That’s absolutely hilarious. Apparently, the WSJ doesn’t have a clue about libertarian philosophy.
With his new job, Atkins will have fed at the government trough four times over his career.
Sui! Here, piggy!
The first time at the trough was as a Republican member of the Securities and Exchange Commission.
The second time was as the head of a big-shot consulting firm that advised clients on SEC red tape. Clients included private-equity firms, mutual funds, and Chinese accounting firms. He charged an hourly rate of $1,200.
Get this: One of his clients was the Commerce Department. In other words, a federal agency hired a former SEC commissioner for advice on dealing with another federal agency. Apparently, federal agencies need an outside go-between to speak with each other.
The third time at the trough was when he was appointed by a federal district judge to monitor Deutsche Bank, AG, which had been sued by federal regulators over a failure to report derivative trades as required by the Dodd-Frank law. Are we to believe that in the huge regulatory apparatus of the federal government there was not one GS 13, 14 or 15 who was competent to monitor a bank?
The fourth time at the trough is his new assignment. If he ends up heading the SEC, the libertarian in name only (LINO) will get a government limo and driver. That’ll be a limo for a LINO.
Atkins has donated at least $140,000 to GOP candidates. Of course this had nothing to do with him landing lucrative government work—guffaw! Atkins also served as an informal advisor to “conservative” politicians, including Texas Rep. Jeb Hensarling, chairman of the House Financial Services Committee. (Wanna bet that Hensarling retires from politics as a multi-millionaire and goes on to be on the board of a Wall Street firm or becomes a hotshot lobbyist?)
Note to Wall Street Journal: Libertarians don’t kiss the butts of the likes of Jeb Hensarling. And they steer clear of Southerners named after Confederate general Jeb Stuart.
What would a libertarian do about the SEC? If he couldn’t eliminate the agency, he’d at least cut regulations to the bone. What does Atkins want to do about it? He wants to outsource some of the SEC’s work to outside firms, such as his.
The swamp isn’t drained by moving it from Point A to Point B.
All of this brings back bad personal memories, to time when I was a corporate executive responsible for departments that had to deal with government red tape and apparatchiks. One time my safety director asked me to accompany him to a high-priced safety conference at a swank hotel in Washington, DC. The consultants putting on the conference were former employees of OSHA, the very same apparatchiks who had written the undecipherable regulations that they were now making a lot of money to decipher.
Not being able to stomach seeing such insider dealings and the whirring revolving door between the public and private sectors, I walked away from my lucrative corporate career and published a management book on how to eliminate corporate bureaucracy. By contrast, Atkins figured out how to pretend he was against federal bureaucracy while making millions from it.
Not surprisingly, many of the consultants in Atkins’ firm are former federal employees of the SEC, Commodities Futures Trading Commission, or Federal Reserve.
Oink, oink, oink, oink, oink, oink, oink!
Who’s the smarter guy, me or Atkins? Judging by income and fame, that would be Atkins.
Who is the principled libertarian? Certainly not Atkins.