Legislation introduced in House & Senate, Hearings Big Success
• Garrett/Maloney’s HR3482 – Improving Wall Street Investor Protection & Confidence Act – introduced with 25 sponsors, bi-partisan
• Hearings tremendous success: SIPC’s Harbeck pounded by Garrett, Maloney, NIAP’s Stein, and Stanford Victim’s Coalition, Kogutt
• Senators Schumer, Vitter and Landrieu introduce companion bill S.1725 in Senate
Dear NIAP Member & Madoff Investor,
Happy Thanksgiving & Hanukkah Greetings. More than at any time since we began our organization, I’m reaching out to you today with a real sense of optimism about Congress. Not only was the new SIPC legislation (HR3482) introduced in the House last week with more sponsors than expected (and still more lined up), but a companion Senate bill – S. 1725 — was introduced by Senate Banking Committee member David Vitter (R-LA) just before the Holiday deadline. A major success was obtaining co-sponsorship by one of the most powerful members of Congress, Senator Schumer (D-NY). Senator Mary Landrieu (D-LA) also signed on as an original cosponsor.
To make the week sweeter still, the Hearings held by Chairman Garrett (R-NJ), sitting beside Ranking Member Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY)could not have gone better for Madoff and Stanford victims. Not only was Garrett masterful in his opening comments [link], his surgical interrogation of SIPC’s Harbeck during the questioning session was brilliant. I wrote my testimony to be very aggressive, and channeling attorneys David Bernfeld and Helen Chaitman, sitting behind me, did my best to unclothe Mr. Harbeck and lay naked his arrogance, rampant misuse of facts, and general defensiveness and lack of compassion [testimony link]. Feedback has been uniformly positive.
For Madoff victims, it was a good week all around!
Indeed, even indirect investors received the wonderful news from Special Master Richard Breeden who announced that indirect “net losers” would have access to the $2billion plus Madoff Victim Fund.
Side note: Sen. Schumer was deliberately careful to avoid focusing on the Madoff victims in his press release even though he has embraced the legislation. Once he and Senator Vitter return, coordination of Senate strategy and publicity will commence.
Realistically, even though our prospects are better than they’ve ever been before, we are in the 1st inning of a 9 inning game (which ends late 2014), and we are going to need all of you to help in any way we can.
You can help in three ways: your time, your energy, and frankly, your generosity. We are going to needs funds to command the necessary staff to organize and drive the massive grassroots effort we need to undertake to pass these House and Senate bills and get relief for Madoff and Stanford victims. I also want to affirm that this legislation will go back to provide full SIPC coverage to Madoff victims.
But most of all, we will need each and every one of you to step up and help in any way you can, through phone calls and letters. We can’t expect others to do it all.
I would also urge all of you to use these Holidays to begin to spread the word — hope is alive, progress is being made, and everyone’s help is needed.
In the coming weeks, we will begin the next phases of the grassroots campaign in earnest, and begin a fundraising drive. We look to all of you for your help and support: without that support, we won’t succeed. With your support, our chances have never been better!
I thank all of you who have stuck with this, have helped in the many ways you have. I wish all Madoff and Stanford victims, who have suffered so much to take some solace in this success and burgeoning hope, and that we relish what we do have as precious.
To all, a wonderful Thanksgiving and a Happy Hannukah.
Ron Stein, CFP