Congress to America: Sorry. Gone Fishin'

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Democratic Sen. Jack Reed of Rhode IslandDid you lose money on last month's Facebook (FB) IPO? How about on Groupon (GRPN)? Zynga (ZNGA)?

Perhaps something seemed a little off when you logged on to your brokerage account and either couldn't place an order or couldn't get confirmation that your order was placed?

Congress couldn't care less.

On Wednesday morning, the Senate Banking Committee's subcommittee on Securities, Insurance, and Investment convened in a session entitled "Examining the IPO Process: Is It Working for Ordinary Investors?" But it appears that on Capitol Hill, the word "convened" is defined rather loosely.

Out of 18 senators who were supposed to be at the hearing, exactly one showed up. (Democratic Sen. Jack Reed of Rhode Island -- now and forever after to be dubbed "the loneliest senator in Congress.")

IPO Hearing MIAs

Even in a legislative body famous for its lackadaisical attitude to attendance requirements, this was a pretty poor showing.
Here's who did show up: Ann Sherman, associate professor of finance at DePaul University; Lise Buyer, founder and principal of Class V Group; Joel H. Trotter, partner at Latham & Watkins; and Ilan Moscovitz, senior analyst at The Motley Fool.

They all showed up on time and on message. They were there to educate Congress on why insiders on Wall Street have better access to information about companies going public, how they have a greater ability to buy shares of "hot" IPOs than do ordinary folks, and the deleterious effect this mismatch in information and access has on the stock market.

They outnumbered the senators -- or rather, senator -- listening to them by 4-to-1. Missing in action were:
  • Daniel Akaka (D-Hawaii)
  • Michael Bennet (D-Colo.)
  • Bob Corker (R-Tenn.)
  • Mike Crapo (R-Idaho)
  • Jim DeMint (R-S.C.)
  • Kay Hagan (D-N.C.)
  • Tim Johnson (D-S.D.)
  • Mark Kirk (R-Ill.)
  • Herb Kohl (D-Wis.)
  • Robert Menendez (D-N.J.)
  • Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.)
  • Jerry Moran (R-Kan.)
  • Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.)
  • Patrick Toomey (R-Pa.)
  • David Vitter (R-La.)
  • Mark Warner (D-Va.)
  • Roger Wicker (R-Miss.)
Maybe next time we should hand out the senators' $174,000 paychecks at the hearing. Wonder if that might improve attendance a bit?

Rich Smith writes for The Motley Fool. He does not own shares of any company named above. The Motley Fool owns shares of Facebook.


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24 Comments

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Vanguard

I believe it should be noted that Mark Kirk is currently recovering from a stroke for the past severeal months, so it is really hard to say that he should be lumped together with the other senators.

June 25 2012 at 2:57 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Frank Van Delden

The economy is slowly healing without those MFers..

June 25 2012 at 11:42 AM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply
morrisinman2012@gmail.com

The General Motors (NYSE:GM) Pension Buyout plan, announced on June 1, stated that GM plans to cut their pension liability by an expected 26 billion dollars. Select salaried U.S. retirees will be offered a lump-sum, with other retirees being offered a monthly pension payment. Making this decision will involve considering initial eligibility and a full understanding of the two options, including the consequences therein. Consulting a qualified financial advisor is suggested. For more information, including a free white paper, on the General Motors Pension Buyout, please visit. The decision deadline will be July 20, 2012.


http://gm-pension-buyout.com/?page_id=38]
Pension Buyout Video

June 25 2012 at 12:35 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
morrisinman2012@gmail.com

June 1 brought an announcement from General Motors on their plan to lessen pension liability by a predicted 26 billion dollars. The plan will offer a number of U.S. salaried retirees a lump-sum payment and other retirees a continued monthly payment. The decision-making process is complex; it is recommended to seek the counsel of an experienced financial advisor. The decision deadline is set for July 20, 2012. to read a free white paper and more information on the General Motors (NYSE:GM) Pension Buyout.

http://gmpensionbuyout.net/?page_id=40

June 25 2012 at 12:34 AM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down Reply
morrisinman2012@gmail.com

June 1 brought an announcement from General Motors on their plan to lessen pension liability by a predicted 26 billion dollars. The plan will offer a number of U.S. salaried retirees a lump-sum payment and other retirees a continued monthly payment. The decision-making process is complex; it is recommended to seek the counsel of an experienced financial advisor. The decision deadline is set for July 20, 2012. to read a free white paper and more information on the General Motors (NYSE:GM) Pension Buyout.

http://gmpensionbuyout.info/?page_id=28

June 25 2012 at 12:33 AM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down Reply
morrisinman2012@gmail.com

General Motors announced their plan to reduce pension liability on June 1. The plan is set to reduce pension liability by an estimated 26 billion dollars, and offers select salaried U.S. retirees a lump-sum payment. Other retirees may continue to receive a monthly pension payment. Navigating these choices will be a complicated process and it is suggested that the advice of a competent financial advisor be obtained. To learn more about initial eligibility and the options of the General Motors (NYSE:GM) Pension Buyout plan visit. A free white paper is also available at this site. The decision deadline is set for July 20, 2012.

http://youtu.be/32ZRne7AoTQ

June 25 2012 at 12:32 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
morrisinman2012@gmail.com

June 1 brought an announcement from General Motors on their plan to lessen pension liability by a predicted 26 billion dollars. The plan will offer a number of U.S. salaried retirees a lump-sum payment and other retirees a continued monthly payment. The decision-making process is complex; it is recommended to seek the counsel of an experienced financial advisor. The decision deadline is set for July 20, 2012. to read a free white paper and more information on the General Motors (NYSE:GM) Pension Buyout.

Please Watch this Video:
http://youtu.be/32ZRne7AoTQ

June 24 2012 at 11:14 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
morrisinman2012@gmail.com

General Motors announced their plan to reduce pension liability on June 1. The plan is set to reduce pension liability by an estimated 26 billion dollars, and offers select salaried U.S. retirees a lump-sum payment. Other retirees may continue to receive a monthly pension payment. Navigating these choices will be a complicated process and it is suggested that the advice of a competent financial advisor be obtained. To learn more about initial eligibility and the options of the General Motors (NYSE:GM) Pension Buyout plan visit A free white paper is also available at this site. The decision deadline is set for July 20, 2012.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=32ZRne7AoTQ&feature=youtu.be

June 24 2012 at 11:07 PM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down Reply
jcduyal

Why we're at this point today? In 1950's the politicians started separating dollar from the gold standard TO PRINT MONEY AT WILL. In mid 60's the THEY created the social welfare programs JUST TO WIN VOTES. In early 70's they allowed the US manufacturing's collapse thinking that a nation of 250 million could feed itself (and some others around the world) by just PUSHING PAPER. The same crowd, now on yet another holiday, remains still busy serving only themselves.

June 24 2012 at 8:41 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
diane4tom

little help please - -who wrote script on montford point marines

June 24 2012 at 4:32 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply