The Whistleblower #34
Foundation for Taxpayer & Consumer Rights Corporateering
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The Whistleblower

The Whistleblower #34 - Jul 24, 2002

The deregulated energy industry is in ruin, with power company stock prices collapsing and bond ratings at junk levels. From Enron's bankruptcy to the lingering pain of the California energy crisis, Wall Street and Main Street now agree: unregulated private energy companies are worthless.

Similarly, other recently deregulated industries are convulsing:
  • The bankruptcies of WorldCom and Global Crossing -- in conjunction with a series of industry consolidation and unfulfilled promises -- mark the failure of telecommunications deregulation.
  • Cable industry tycoon John Rigas and his sons have been arrested for the fraud they committed while heading Adelphia in that deregulated industry.
  • Less than three years after the decimation of 65 year old banking and brokerage industry rules and regulations, Merrill Lynch had to pay a $100 million settlement and Citigroup and Chase Manhattan were hauled into Congress for facilitating phony transactions for Enron.
So what is Congress doing about deregulation? Lawmakers still plan to repeal the New Deal-era standard-bearer of energy regulation known as the Public Utility Holding Companies Act. Consumer groups have vigorously criticized this deregulation proposal, which is expected to remain in the final version of Congress's major energy bill. In the wake of the corporate crisis in America, it is scandalous that lawmakers will continue to pursue a deregulation scheme, developed by none other than Enron.

For those Congress Members who vote for the energy deregulation bill, The Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights will publicize -- in politicians' districts -- photos of the lawmakers wearing Dunce Caps with a big "D" for "Deregulation."

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