Occupy the SEC Members Sue Fed’s Bernanke, Others


Two New Yorkers, members of Occupy the SEC, filed a lawsuit in federal court last week against the government’s major financial department heads, including Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke and Neal Wolin, Acting Treasury Secretary.

U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke gestures as he speaks at a Joint Economic Committee hearing on the economic outlook, on Capitol Hill in Washington
Ben Bernanke

The suit asks the court to require that the government implement the Volcker Rule, which would stop the major banks from endangering customers’ funds through speculative investments, a primary cause of the 2008 world economic meltdown.

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Other defendants named are: FDIC chair Martin Gruenberg; SEC chair Elisse Walter; Gary Gensler, chair of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission; Comptroller Thomas Curry, and Mary Miller, the Treasury’s Under Secretary for Domestic Finance.

According to the lawsuit, filed Feb. 26, the two plaintiffs are both from Brooklyn: Eric Taylor, who has deposits in a checking account at JPMorgan Chase Bank, and Kristine Ekman, whose checking account is with Wells Fargo Bank. The suit states that both are members of Occupy the SEC, a part of the Occupy Wall Street movement.

The lawsuit notes that those two major banks, along with others, had been estimated by the World Bank to have lost $4 trillion “from toxic assets” in the meltdown. As a result of the economic collapse, Congress passed the Dodd-Frank Act, which included the Volcker Rule.

The rule’s provisions were scheduled to be implemented as a part of Dodd-Frank on July 21, 2012. The lawsuit claims they have not been implemented, and requests the court order the federal agencies to activate them.

You can view the lawsuit here. Other articles on the lawsuit are here and here.

Reuters reported just this afternoon that another major Wall Street firm, Goldman Sachs Group Inc., is “trying to find ways to keep investing in the profitable, albeit risky, business of buying and selling companies without crossing” the Volcker Rule, should the federal government begin implementing it.