Authors Norton Reamer and Jesse Downing talked about the major themes of their book at the Museum of American Finance in New York City on February 26, 2016. Their talk was recorded and broadcast on C-SPAN. In the speech, they covered the history of retirement funding, financial wrongdoings, and economic crisis management, among other topics. Click here to watch the speech at C-SPAN.org.
It’s ironic that so much dramatically improved in the way the economy was handled from the Great Depression to the time of the Great Recession — and yet, it’s still controversial, and doesn’t seem to be fully understood by the public or even the Congress.
It’s remarkable how recent it was that insider trading was labelled broadly an investing malfeasance. Until the 1960s, courts ruled in favor of insiders who traded on nonpublic information. When it comes to regulation of investing transgressions, there still seems to be evidence that the law (and the SEC’s enforcement of it) can still make further progress.
In 1937, the original Social Security Act was narrowly upheld in a 5-4 Supreme Court decision. The idea that this cornerstone of retirement for so many Americans hung by a single vote is astonishing — and very exciting as a development that affects retirement planning and therefore investment in the United States.
The investing playing field has become more democratic — but it isn’t entirely equal. And with opportunity — democratization — comes a responsibility. We can no longer say, “We opt out,” and plead total investment ignorance.
The founder of the first hedge(d) fund was A. W Jones, who decided to price his offering based on the way fees were charged by ancient Phoenician captains — a base fee of 2% and 20% of the profits. That two-and-twenty structure survives today.