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President’s financial working group

Plunge Protection Team

“Plunge Protection Team” was originally the headline for an article in The Washington Post on February 23, 1997,[2] and has since become a colloquial term used by some mainstream publications to refer to the Working Group.[3][4] Initially, the term was used to express the opinion that the Working Group was being used to prop up the markets during downturns.[5][6] Financial writers for British newspapers The Observer and The Daily Telegraph, along with U.S. Congressman Ron Paul and writers Kevin Phillips (who claims “no personal firsthand knowledge” and is “not interested in becoming a conspiracy investigator”) [7] and John Crudele,[8] have charged the Working Group with going beyond their legal mandate. Claims about the Working Group generally include that it is an orchestrated mechanism that attempts to manipulate U.S. stock markets in the event of a market crash by using government funds to buy stocks, or other instruments such as stock index futures—acts which are forbidden by law. However, these articles usually refer to the Working Group using moral suasion to attempt to convince banks to buy stock index futures. [9]

Former Federal Reserve Board member Robert Heller, in the Wall Street Journal, opined that “Instead of flooding the entire economy with liquidity, and thereby increasing the danger of inflation, the Fed could support the stock market directly by buying market averages in the futures market, thereby stabilizing the market as a whole.” [10][11]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Executive_Order_12631

As established by Executive Order 12631, the Working Group consists of:

The Working Group on Financial Markets (also, President’s Working Group on Financial Markets, the Working Group, and colloquially the Plunge Protection Team) was created by Executive Order 12631,[1] signed on March 18, 1988 by United States President Ronald Reagan.

Working Group on Financial Markets

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

(Redirected from Executive Order 12631)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Executive_Order_12631

link from same page –

Government Accountability Office investigations of the Department of Defense

But even Representatives who generally support Defense spending seem to be getting fed up with the problem. Representative Thomas M. Davis, R-Virginia, asked the Pentagon to present 11 documents relating to contracts in Iraq, among them papers that would prove whether Halliburton benefited from its association with Cheney. And Rep. John Duncan, R-Tenn., of the House Committee on Government Reform recently said, “I’ve always considered myself to be a pro-military type person, but that doesn’t mean I just want to sit back and watch the Pentagon waste billions and billions of dollars”[12].

Supporters of the GAO investigations like to point out the disparity between the GAO budget and military expenses. The GAO’s Fiscal Year 2004 annual budget was $463.6 million[13]. In contrast, GAO reports show that the Defense Department’s 2,200 overlapping financial systems cost $18 billion a year to operate[14].

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Government_Accountability_Office_investigations_of_the_Department_of_Defense

WHAT HAPPENED TO $1 TRILLION?

Though Defense has long been notorious for waste, recent government reports suggest the Pentagon’s money management woes have reached astronomical proportions. A study by the Defense Department’s inspector general found that the Pentagon couldn’t properly account for more than a trillion dollars in monies spent. A GAO report found Defense inventory systems so lax that the U.S.

Army lost track of 56 airplanes, 32 tanks, and 36 Javelin missile command launch-units.

The Department of Defense, already infamous for spending $640 for a toilet seat, once again finds itself under intense scrutiny, only this time because it couldn’t account for more than a trillion dollars in financial transactions, not to mention dozens of tanks, missiles and planes.

Military waste under fire

$1 trillion missing — Bush plan targets Pentagon accounting

Sunday, May 18, 2003

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/chronicle/archive/2003/05/18/MN251738.DTL

***

Summary: The U.S. government is manipulating all major U.S. financial markets—stocks, treasuries, currencies. This article shows how it is possible and how it is done, why it is done, who specifically is doing it, when they do it, and where they get the money to do it.

Most people probably believe that the major capital markets in the U.S. are basically true markets with, occasionally, maybe very occasionally, a little bit of rigging here and there. But evidence shows that the opposite is the case—the rigging is fundamental with a little bit of true markets here and there. I have discussed how this works concerning U.S. and some other stock markets in an earlier article.[1] Here I will primarily discuss the rigging of currency and U.S. Treasury markets.

http://www.financialsense.com/editorials/reality/2005/0403.html

Of the over 8000 all-stock mutual funds, a mere 497 hold roughly three-fourths of the stock. This is easily a small enough number to pump the market, whether through coordinated buying disguised as programmed trading, or simply a follow-the-leader mechanism. All the other thousands of funds and the millions of individuals around the globe putting their money into these markets can do little more than follow the momentum. No major U.S. stock market writer, advisor or player seems to publicly acknowledge this, as far as I know. But the CEO (PDG) of the French insurance giant AXA has acknowledged it: Claude Bebear wrote in his 2003 book Ils vont tuer le capitalisme (They are going to kill capitalism):

“… today, shareholders are relegated to the role of quasi-spectators. The small shareholders that are now called ‘individual investors’ know that they have little weight. All together, they only represent a small percent of capital because the investments of households are more and more in the form of mutual funds, pension funds (fonds communs de placement) or life insurance funds. The shareholders today are thus the institutional investors.”[i] [5]

http://www.financialsense.com/editorials/reality/2005/0403.html


http://www.treas.gov/offices/domestic-finance/financial-markets/fin-market-policy/

U.S. Treasury – Office of Domestic Finance

The Office often collaborates with staff of other financial markets agencies, particularly those of the President’s Working Group on Financial Markets.
http://www.treas.gov/offices/domestic-finance/financial-markets/fin-market-policy/ – 29k –

United States Department of the Treasury, Office of Domestic Finance, Office of Financial Market Policy –

This Office helps formulate Treasury policy on financial markets, including economic matters regarding, and the regulation of, government securities, credit, equity, and derivatives markets and their structures and participants. Issues include financing initiatives, bankruptcy and financial contract netting, risk management, trading and clearing systems, systemic risk, financial modernization, financial accounting, corporate governance, disclosure requirements, energy derivatives markets, inflation-indexed securities, savings bond rates and terms, and tax policy relating to financial markets. The Office develops and prepares policy options, testimony and briefings, and analyzes legislation, regulatory rulemakings, and tax regulations.

The Office often collaborates with staff of other financial markets agencies, particularly those of the President’s Working Group on Financial Markets. Chaired by the Secretary of the Treasury, the Working Group includes the Chairs of the Federal Reserve Board, the Securities and Exchange Commission, and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

Enhancing Disclosure in the Mortgage-Backed Securities Markets PDF icon
Report of the Staff Task Force (Department of the Treasury, Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight, and Securities and Exchange Commission), January 2003. The purpose of the report was to evaluate government-sponsored enterprises’ current disclosure practices in mortgage-backed securities and to consider whether disclosure enhancements would be desirable in assisting investors to make informed investment decisions. The report found that additional disclosures in the MBS markets were desirable, feasible and would be useful for investors. To implement additional disclosures, the report encouraged market participants to reach a consensus on appropriate enhancements.

– And, also –

Joint Report on Retail Swaps. PDF icon
Report of the President’s Working Group on Financial Markets, December 2001. The report addressed the potential uses of swaps by retail customers, whether financial institutions were willing to offer such agreements, and appropriate regulatory structure to address customer protection issues. The report concluded that it was not necessary to recommend legislative action for retail swaps offered to persons other than eligible contract participants.

Hedge Funds, Leverage, and the Lessons of Long-Term Capital Management. PDF icon
Report of the President’s Working Group on Financial Markets, April 1999. The report recommended measures to improve transparency, enhance private-sector risk management, develop risk-sensitive capital adequacy, support financial contract netting in bankruptcy, and encourage compliance with international standards for offshore financial centers.

Over-the-Counter Derivatives Markets and the Commodity Exchange Act PDF icon
Report of the President’s Working Group on Financial Markets, November 1999. The report recommended changes to the Commodity Exchange Act to provide legal certainty for over-the-counter derivatives, remove impediments to innovation, reduce systemic risk, and protect customers from unfair practices.

http://www.treas.gov/offices/domestic-finance/financial-markets/fin-market-policy/


Mission

To administer a records disclosure program in the Department of the Treasury that is in compliance with the Freedom of Information Act and the Privacy Act.

http://www.treas.gov/foia/

Paging the president’s shadowy Plunge Protection Team.


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Among the revelations of last week’s market panic: We’re still not allowed to know anything about the President’s Working Group on Financial Markets, which springs into action during times of crisis. Don’t ask what its members do or how they do it—even if you’re Hillary Clinton. Tuesday morning, in a press conference about the “global economic crisis,” she asked that the president call in these Über–Masters of the Universe, if he hadn’t already. (The PWG doesn’t have a spokesperson, and it doesn’t keep minutes of its meetings.) Only the Journal bothered to print White House spokesman Tony Fratto’s brush-off: “We don’t announce meetings or conference calls of the PWG.”

http://nymag.com/news/intelligencer/43342/

‘One of the Problems Is That Mr. Paulson Is a Day Trader’

9/30/08 at 4:00 PM

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‘One of the Problems Is That Mr. Paulson Is a Day Trader’

Photo: ABC

Chris Cuomo came out guns blazing against Congresswomen Marilyn Musgrave and Marc Kaptur, who both voted against the bailout bill yesterday, on Good Morning America today. “ARE YOU READY TO ACCEPT THE POTENTIAL CONSEQUENCE OF BRINGING DOWN THIS ECONOMY WITH YOUR VOTE?” he asked. “ARE YOU?” The women seemed slightly taken aback. “Well, you’re very anxious,” Congresswoman Kaptur admonished in a mumsily adorable Ohioan accent, adding that Cuomo ought to hold it together “for the sake of the country, and even for the sake of the markets.” Then she calmly goes on to explain her problems with the bill, one of which is that she didn’t just want to hand over $700 billion to that “day trader” Paulson. Er, no, Marcy. Nooooo. Cuomo manages to hold it together, but will you? [ABC via DealBreaker]

http://nymag.com/daily/intel/2008/09/one_of_the_problems_is_that_mr.html

President Meets with Working Group on Financial Markets
Roosevelt Room
1:47 P.M. EST

I had quite a fascinating and productive meeting with the President’s Working Group on Financial Markets, chaired by Secretary Paulson. I want to thank the members for working diligently to monitor our capital market system, our financial system. And while there is some uncertainty, the report is, is that the financial markets are strong and solid. And I want to thank you for being diligent.

President George W. Bush, joined by Vice President Dick Cheney and U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, right, addresses reporters Friday, Jan. 4, 2008 in the Roosevelt Room at the White House, following a meeting with the President's Working Group on Financial Markets. White House photo by Eric Draper This economy of ours is on a solid foundation, but we can’t take economic growth for granted. And there are signs that will cause us to be ever more diligent and to make sure that good policies come out of Washington.

http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2008/01/20080104-4.html

Acting Chairman Walter Lukken

photo of Acting CFTC Chairman Walter Lukken
Walter Lukken was appointed Acting Chairman by the Commission on June 27, 2007. He was first appointed Commissioner in 2002 and is now serving his second term due to expire in 2010. President Bush nominated him in September 2007 to serve as Chairman of the CFTC.Acting Chairman Lukken has testified several times before Congress and represents the agency as part of the President’s Working Group on Financial Markets. He also represents the Commission before international organizations and forums, including the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) and the Committee of European Securities Regulators (CESR).

Acting Chairman Lukken serves as chairman of the CFTC’s Energy Markets Advisory Committee, which was created by the Commission in February 2008 to address the timely and critical regulatory issues connected to the role of the futures markets for discovering prices and managing energy price risks. He also served as chairman of the CFTC’s Global Markets Advisory Committee (GMAC) from October 2003 through January 2008. The GMAC provides an industry forum in which it can discuss the many complex and novel issues raised by the ever-increasing globalization of futures markets.

Prior to joining the CFTC, Acting Chairman Lukken served for five years as counsel on the professional staff of the U.S. Senate Agriculture Committee under Chairman Richard Lugar (R-IN), specializing in futures and derivatives markets. In this capacity, he was prominently involved in the development, drafting and passage of the Commodity Futures Modernization Act of 2000 (H.R. 5660).

http://www.cftc.gov/aboutthecftc/commissioners/wlukken.html

HomeNews RoomSpeeches & TestimonyActing Chairman Walter Lukken

Speeches & Testimony

Acting Chairman Walter Lukken

Acting Chairman Walter Lukken’s Biography

September 11, 2008

Written Testimony of Acting Chairman Walter Lukken, House Committee on Agriculture

July 10, 2008

Written Testimony of Acting Chairman Walter Lukken, House Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies

July 10, 2008

Oral Testimony of Acting Chairman Walter Lukken, House Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies

June 24, 2008

Written Testimony of Acting Chairman Walter Lukken, House Committee on Agriculture

June 24, 2008

Written Testimony of Acting Chairman Walter Lukken, Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs

June 23, 2008

Written Testimony of Acting Chairman Walter Lukken Before the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations

June 17, 2008

Written Testimony by Chairman Walter L. Lukken, Commodity Futures Trading Commission Before the Senate Appropriations, Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government and the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry

June 10, 2008

Opening Remarks of Committee Chairman Walter Lukken Before the Energy Markets Advisory Committee, Commodity Futures Trading Commission Headquarters

May 7, 2008

Written Testimony by Acting Chairman Walter L. Lukken, Commodity Futures Trading Commission Before the U.S. Senate, Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government Committee on Appropriations

May 7, 2008

Oral Testimony by Acting Chairman Walter L. Lukken, Commodity Futures Trading Commission Before the U.S. Senate, Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government Committee on Appropriations

March 13, 2008

Speech by Acting Chairman Walter Lukken, Building Regulatory Networks, Futures Industry Association Annual Conference

March 11, 2008

Opening Remarks of Acting Chairman Walter Lukken From Press Conference Regarding the CFTC-SEC Memorandum of Understanding, U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Headquarters

February 8, 2008

Keynote Address by Acting Chairman Walt Lukken at the Hofstra University Forex Symposium, Journal of International Business and Law

February 1, 2008

Speech by CFTC Acting Chairman Walt Lukken on Changing Market Behavior through Acceptable Practices, ABA Committee on the Regulation of Futures and Derivative Instruments

January 18, 2008

Speech by Acting CFTC Chairman Walter Lukken on Compliance and Enforcement in Energy Markets– The CFTC Perspective at the FERC Compliance Summit, FERC Compliance Summit

December 12, 2007

Written Testimony by Acting Chairman Walter Lukken Before the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, Committee on Energy and Commerce, U.S. House of Representatives

December 12, 2007

Opening Statement by Acting CFTC Chairman Walter Lukken Before the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, Committee on Energy and Commerce, U. S. House of Representatives

November 29, 2007

Speech by Acting Chairman Walter Lukken: Walk Softly and Carry a Big Stick, International Swaps and Derivatives Association Energy, Commodities and Developing Products Conference