Fox News, Wall Street work to tear down Whistleblower protection laws
Financial experts and academics agree that strong whistleblower regulations could have prevented the Bernie Madoff Ponzi scheme and indeed much of the financial crisis if employees at firms engaged in fraudulent activity had spoken up early or had reported complex crimes to the appropriate authorities. Employees at firms at the center for the financial crisis, including troubled lender Countrywide, have cited intimidation and other illicit tactics as the reason few people spoke up as whistleblowers. Since the old whistleblower laws provided for weak legal protections for informants and relatively rare rewards, the Dodd-Frank financial reform law passed last year revamped the system with new rights for informants blowing the whistle on financial crimes.
Bank lobbyists and Fox News, however, have made such protections enemy number one.
Fox News, part of a company known for its legal harassment tactics against whistleblowers, has promoted a smear campaign against financial whistleblower protections for months. In this recent segment, Fox Business reporter Charlie Gasparino, who refers to financial whistleblowers as ‘rats,’ claimed that the new Dodd-Frank whistleblower protections are hurting the big banks:
GASPARINO: If you create all these incentives to sue. Well it seems like we’re increasing litigation at a time against businesses at a time when you know lets face it, all these banks, they’re getting hammered. You just saw that ugly chart of Goldman Sachs. […] Yes, there’s a sort of slimyness about this. Its not like someone just coming forward, remember they’re getting paid to do this, you know yea those are all the counter arguments. Under Dodd Frank this thing is here to stay until you know they repeal Dodd Frank!