On September 9, 2013 a group of "seven unknown agents on law" who are agents of the Ramblings on Appeal Blog, permitted one of their own (Samuel Blatchford) to spout forth with a rant of banter titled "The Cult of Rakoff". Though it was my intention to do a "teaching" Diary today, on bankruptcy fraud by attorneys at law who engage in criminality; this Ramblings on Appeal piece gets in my craw enough to take top billing today.
His Honor Rakoff has become a hero to me and others who have watched our federal watchdogs become SEC's (Selective Enforcement Agencies) - who slap the wrists of White Collar fraudsters more often than not. It is best to quote Rolling Stone's Matt Taibbi who says of His Honor;
"Federal judge Jed Rakoff, a former prosecutor with the U.S. Attorney’s office here in New York, is fast becoming a sort of legal hero of our time." In 15 years on the federal bench, Judge Rakoff has written funny, blunt and occasionally reversed opinions. In addition to pushing back against what he has described as superficial punishment by the SEC for companies accused of fraud, Judge Rakoff has held the federal death penalty unconstitutional, sharply criticized the U.S. sentencing guideline, inserted himself into corporate governance reform at WorldCom, and pushed for the public release of documents".Judge Rakoff is our type of guy and apparent loathed by the "Ramblings on Appeal" group.
Ramblings on Appeal - Rambles in its Hamster Banter Wheel
At first glance the title "The Cult of Rakoff" goads one such as I to see what the article has to say. At the barest of minimums to determine - whether or not - that I am a Rakoff Cultist. After review of the Ramblings on Appeal opine of Samuel Blatchford - I can proudly say that I am a cultist of His Honor Rakoff and have determined that "Ramblings on Appeal" is an Anti-Rakoff Cult.
The intro sentence of "The Cult of Rakoff" thread brings people like me in further, under a guise of bait & switch approach. As Mr. Blatchford begins by stating;
Perhaps more than any other jurist on the Southern District of New York (SDNY), the Hon. Jed S. Rakoff is regarded by both legal and lay observers as a visionary leader and a portrait of fair-minded judicial temperament.My first reflection was - Cool - this is what I wish to read - as Samuel continues;
Former New York City Mayor Ed Koch, commenting on Judge Rakoff's high-profile decision to reject the SEC's settlement with Citigroup because it allowed Citigroup to settle without admitting or denying wrongdoing, characterized Judge Rakoff as "a light unto his fellow jurists." Judge Rakoff had rejected a $285 million negotiated settlement, in part because the deal included then-standard neither-admit-nor-deny language. The SEC has appealed, and the case is pending before a panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit --Here's the HuffPo article quoting former Mayor Koch "A Light Unto His Fellow Jurists".
Mayor Koch is also endearing to the common man with the OpEd HuffPo remark;
The S.E.C. has been given huge new powers of regulation under landmark legislation passed in July 2010 known as Dodd-Frank, the result of the debacle on Wall Street involving banks and other financial institutions which caused losses in the trillions of dollars to investors. The era will always be joined at the hip with the phrase referring to many of those institutions as "too big to fail." I have done my best to add an additional phrase to the description, "too big to jail."Mayor Koch hits the nail on the proverbial head. His Honor Koch then reflects upon a New York Times Editorial that criticizes how the Right Wing slashed the SEC's budget even after the Dodd Frank Billl increased the burdens upon the SEC.
Judge Jed Rakoff is furious. He should be. We all should be. On Monday, the Federal District Court judge rightly rejected a plan by the Securities and Exchange Commission to settle a securities fraud case against Citigroup, saying that the $285 million deal was 'neither fair, nor reasonable, nor adequate, nor in the public interest.' It's not only that the money was not enough, though it certainly seems puny compared with the damage done. The S.E.C. charged that Citigroup had not adequately disclosed to investors its role and interest in creating and selling -- and betting against -- a mortgage-backed investment that was intended to fail. When the investment did, indeed, tank, the bank made $160 million, according to the S.E.C., while investors lost $700 million.The Editorial continued;
It's not even that the S.E.C. only accused Citigroup of negligence, when Judge Rakoff said that his understanding of the matter indicates that a tougher charge of knowing or intentional fraud was probably warranted. Serious as all that is, Judge Rakoff's fundamental concern is that the S.E.C. did not provide any facts for the court to use to vet the settlement. Like most S.E.C. settlements with Wall Street firms, Citigroup was being allowed to settle without admitting or denying wrongdoing.Let's see, we have yours truly, a highly critical person of the federal systems of justice being tools of selective interests. Yet I'm all for Judge Rakoff. Then we have Matt Taibbi of Rolling Stone and former Mayor Koch singing praises of His Honor. So voices of the people and a victim of White Collar Fraud existing by Federal Corruption are in Judge Rakoff's corner. I'm proud to be consider a Rakoff Cultist.
And - in the opposing corner - we have "Ramblings on Appeal" Samuel Blatchford!
Banter of the Hamsters in the Ranting Wheel
Upon pulling me in with the opening remarks, Mr. Blatchford then switches tone with the following conclusion of his Mayor Koch reflection;
The SEC has appealed, and the case is pending before a panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit—a court that has previously not seen eye-to-eye with Judge Rakoff.
Blatchford attempts to counter good faith persons such as Mayor Koch and Matt Taibbi and the opine of the New York Times with a blog link to an entity titled "Swampland"
Demonstrating how "in the know" Samuel Blatchford is, of the issues of our times and the great way the systems of justice are working to his delight, Samuel quips the following;
Under the helm of the capable Mary Jo White, the SEC is conducting numerous enforcement actions against major financial services industry players. In addition to Citigroup, the SEC is litigating against (among others) Goldman Sachs, ICP Asset Management, J.P. Morgan Securities, Wachovia Capital Markets, Wells Fargo, and UBS Securities. As of the first of this month, the SEC has charged 161 entities and individuals and has ordered over $1.5 billion in penalties.First of all, I take great issue with Mary Jo and the SEC. Selective Enforcement of our laws has become the SEC's way - and the troubles of too big to fail shall forever more stay - unless we find more Judges like His Honor Rakoff who will say What the Hey! The very notion that $1.5 billion in penalties of 161 behemoths like J.P. Morgan, Goldman Sachs and Wells Fargo is absurd. They are guilty of causing massive billions (if not actually a Trillion) dollars in harm. The very case in question of Citi, details the fact investors there alone - lost $700 million.
Ramblings on Appeal Samuel Blatchford then concludes that Judge Rakoff's ruling as a hard liner is creating a "judicial sweepstakes" that decides issues before they ever arrive at court.
That remark is sinful and real close to an accusation!
I don't know if what kind of an unknown agent of law Mr. Blatchford is; but he better be careful if he has a BAR card. Making a remark that "it's actually creating a judicial sweepstakes that decides outcomes before the parties ever appear in court" - is a stretch of logic to the realm of the inane. It is an insult of His Honor and the judicial process. And (You need) REMEMBER that yours truly is the guy who accuses Judge's and Federal Prosecutors - OPENLY - when I've got concrete evidence of bad faith adjudication upon the merits.
Samuel Blatchford only has evidence that a Judge asked to be able to "judge" the issue at hand. Every criminal trial you go to, the court looks at a case and the prosecutions offer to settle for lessor charges; and those courts are indeed entitled to know the facts of the case. You don't let a murder off with probation on a shoplifting charge; and you don't let Citi intentionally scam investors out of $700 million - and then pay a fine of $160 million - while keeping their mouths shut about having done anything wrong.
Kudos to His Honor Jed Saul Rakoff
and a big BOO to "Ramblings on Appeal"
Especially a BOO super loud to Mr. Blatchford.
You and your kind Mr. Samuel Blatchford, are the real problems with our country. It is easy for you to bait & switch. You find it matter of fact to counter arguments by Matt Taibbi, Mayor Koch and others upon high with "Swampland" babble. Your logic is flawed, your methods disingenuous and your desire for a rubber stamping judiciary is inane. Please take your muddied ideas back to what ever swamp land you contrived them from?
Your Honor Judge Rakoff, we need more of you, more of Matt Taibbi and less of Eliot Spitzer (who just lost btw) - and much, much less of those who would criticize your good faith intent with dang near slanderous remarks.
Please keep up the good works Judge Rakoff!
As is customary, I informed the other parties of this D, and here's the response I received from Samuel Blatchford;
I believe you have just demonstrated that there is a Cult of Rakoff and that you are a proud member thereof. Thank you for the kind attention.