Background Briefing: March 29, 2021
Another Bout of Wretched Excess and Lack of Regulators on Wall Street
We begin with another Wall Street scandal erupting now which follows a familiar pattern this time with an opaque family hedge fund Archegos Capital whose founder had a history of run-ins with regulators, who got to accumulate gigantic holding in publicly-traded companies through secret derivatives trading from Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley and other investment banks. Then its founder Bill Hwang makes wild bets that fail to meet a margin call prompting the insiders at Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stenley to dump $19 billion of stock blocks on Friday, causing market capitalization losses of over $33 billion leaving other banks like Nomura and Credit Suisse to take billions in losses as their shares take a tumble. Joining us is Dennis Kelleher, the President and Chief Executive Officer of Better Markets, Inc, a Washington D.C.- based nonprofit that promotes the public interest in the U.S. and global financial markets and, as a Wall Street watchdog, has been referred to as “a persistent thorn in the side of Wall Street”. He joins us to discuss how small family funds like Archegos are exempt from SEC oversight and can, in exchange for fees, get excessive leverage to build positions that circumvent reporting requirements.
The WHO Report China Got to Shape on the Origins of the Pandemic
Then we examine the WHO report on the origins of the Covid – 19 which appears to have been shaped by China to dismiss the possibility of a lab accident in Wuhan in order to blame the pandemic on a zoonotic leap from animals to humans and on frozen food imported into China from abroad. Lawrence Gostin, University President and Founding O’Neill Chair in Global Health Law at Georgetown University Law Center who directs the World Health Organization’s Collaborating Center on National and Global Health Law, joins us to discuss the report and warnings of “impending doom” from the new CDC Director who said that “right now, I’m scared.”