"Journalists wouldn't be able to do their jobs without whistleblowers. Theirs is the lone voice emerging from the din, the one that tips us off, gets us started, delivers the key documents, provides an insider's view of an otherwise unknown world."
Consider the case of Leyla Wydler, a broker who, back in 2003, sent a letter to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) about her former employer, the Stanford Financial Group. A year earlier, it had fired her for refusing to sell certificates of deposit that she rightly suspected were being misleadingly advertised to investors. The company, Wydler warned in her letter, “is the subject of a lingering corporate fraud scandal perpetrated as a ‘massive Ponzi scheme’ that will destroy the life savings of many, damage the reputation of all associated parties, ridicule securities and banking authorities, and shame the United States of America.”
It was a letter that should have woken the dead and, as it happened, couldn’t have been more on target. Wydler didn’t stop with the SEC either. She also sent copies to the National Association of Securities Dealers (NASD), the trade group responsible for enforcing regulations throughout the industry, as well as various newspapers, including the Wall Street Journal and the Washington Post. No one responded. No one at all.
In the fall of 2004, Wydler called the examination branch of the SEC’s Fort Worth District Office to relay her concerns. A staff person did hear her out, but once again nothing happened. More than four years later, as the aftershocks of the global financial meltdown continued to play out, the news finally broke that Stanford had orchestrated a $7 billion Ponzi scheme which cost thousands of defrauded investors their savings.
Some surveys done in the US have indicated that the feeling of individuals' satisfaction with their lives was increasing until the mid 1960's and then began falling, a trend that continues to this day. The increased complexities and stress we have been building into our societies and lives is outpacing any increase in enjoyment.
The only thing we gain is a pile of junk which has to be disposed of by those we leave behind, thereby causing them extra stress and costing them time and effort. All of which ties in with the stresses we have put on the planet through our manufacturing, transporting, consuming and disposing of our junk — but that's my other story!
MY WEBSITE — ANewHumanity.CA
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