Stock Exchange Practices: the Final Report of the Pecora Commission
CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, Jan 31, 2010 - 404 pages
From 1932 to 1934, in the depths of the Great Depression, the United States Senate Committee on Banking and Currency investigated the activities of Wall Street, general banking practices, and the causes of the 1929 Stock Market Crash. This effort become known as the Pecora Commission, after the committee's final chief counsel and lead investigator, Ferdinand Pecora, who was a brilliant cross-examiner and investigator. Pecora's bravura performances and the commission's hearings were followed by millions in the newspapers and radio; Pecora become a national hero for his brutal and effective examinations of many prominent bankers and stockbrokers, including the head of the New York Stock Exchange, noted investment bankers, and high-profile commodities speculators, most famously J.P. Morgan, whose admission that he and his partners had not paid any income taxes in 1931 and 1932 led to massive public outcry.The Pecora Commission report describes widespread abusive and manipulative practices by banks, brokers, and financiers. Eventually its findings spurred public support of new securities regulations proposed by the Roosevelt administration, such as the Glass-Steagall Banking Act and the establishment of the SEC in 1934.Ferdinand Pecora and the Pecora Commission remain the gold standard for the conduct of a thorough and useful investigation into banking activity, and the report remains compelling reading today--fully resonant with the Wall Street activity of the past decade and our current Great Recession.
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