Occupy Wall Street and investor protection: rational approaches to market reform

By Bradd Milove

Occupy Wall Street is a public response to years of perceived greed and influence peddling that have shaken the core of the nation’s financial infrastructure. Massive financial losses, coupled with a perceived lack of legal accountability and little hope for meaningful reform, are sources for these protests -- and according to

The Washington Post

, participants are united primarily by a simple yet compelling mantra: “we are the 99% that will no longer tolerate the greed and corruption of the 1%.” Only the losses of the Great Depression rival the ongoing damage and hardship to our general populace arising from the recent economic downturn. And while the causes behind our national debacle may be debatable, the need for prompt reform is clear.

The Great Depression encouraged some of the most important congressional legislative action to date on behalf of American investors, including the 1933 Securities Act, the 1934 Securities and Exchange Act and the Investment Company Act of 1940. The intent of these laws was to broadly prohibit fraudulent activities of any kind in connection with the offer, purchase or sale of investments – and in the years that followed, this framework supported national growth and general wealth formation by protecting and ensuring the integrity of our capital markets.

Over the past few decades, however, political history has repeated itself with devastating consequences. A powerful few have proliferated ideas and policies reintroducing a business landscape in which root causes of the Great Depression flourished, resulting in both the elimination of laws designed to protect the investing public and severe limitations on judicial access for those seeking full loss recovery.

Failure to enforce consumer protection laws and anti-investor federal legislation have encouraged Wall Street’s abusive practices; and now, another era of pro-Wall Street and anti-consumer mentality has come home to roost. With the dawn of the Occupy Wall Street movement, people are now taking to the streets -- and demanding change and reform to protect the interests of the so-called 99%.

Learn more about investment loss recovery and fair market reform from San Diego’s investment attorneys

For years, the combined powers of Wall Street, Congress and the conservative financial intelligentsia have fought vigorously to pave the way for unregulated markets – and as a result, we now live in an investment environment that encourages fraudulent investment activity. However, in order to maximize the flow of investment capital, investors must believe that the markets are fundamentally fair. Only an equitable system – one with enforceable accountability standards -- can promote investor confidence, and in turn allow businesses to be profitable, grow sustainably and provide additional employment for the greater good.

As those behind Occupy Wall Street may attest, greed has become the driving force in the financial and legislative arena – and while the U.S. government cannot legislate morality, it


legislate a level playing field. A congressional review and fine-tuning of the securities laws and legal precedent is in order. Perhaps Occupy Wall Street and legislative intervention will eventually succeed in bringing accountability and fair practice back to the marketplace. But until then, defrauded investors must rely on available paths to recovery, such as FINRA arbitration, to potentially recover investment losses. Investor diligence in timely claims filing and competent representation to combat Wall Street wrongdoers are critical elements to securing the return of family savings. As seasoned

San Diego investment attorneys

, we encourage anyone who has suffered unfair investment losses to contact representatives in Congress with concerns and recommendations to fix our broken system – and to visit us online for more information on investment loss recovery and strategy at