Trump told us he will be under-budget and ahead of schedule, but the shocking SEC decision, at the last hour, of the very last day, on a Friday afternoon, is way over budget and could not be any more behind schedule.
For almost four years the Winklevoss twins have had to deal with bureaucrats, addressing their every concern, setting up their own exchange and going through the trouble of getting a Bitlicense, setting up an auction, but that apparently wasn’t sufficient – the SEC wants “surveillance.”
And when I say the SEC, I mean one person, Eduardo A. Aleman, Assistant Secretary. Linkedin doesn’t appear to know him, but he seems to be a career bureaucrat. Probably lacking any real-world experience, probably has gone from grad school straight to bureaucracy, probably a lawyer.
How can one man have so much power? We were told there will be a vote, but apparently, the SEC commissioners didn’t think this decision was important, delegating it to Aleman. Then, what’s the point of the commissioners? What’s the point of usually having five of them and a vote when we can have one faceless easily corruptible bureaucrat to decide?
The shambolic way this decision was handled should lead to the firing of both acting chairman Michael Piwowar, who serves at the pleasure of Trump, and commissioner Kara Stein.
Delegating this decision to a faceless bureaucrat is an insult. For them to hide behind an Assistant Secretary, not even a Secretary, is an intentional slap. Where is the accountability here? How do we analyze a faceless person? How do we have any trust that this decision was properly carried out?
Bitcoin Not Regulated
Aleman rejected the ETF because he wants to surveil us, seemingly ignoring the fourth amendment, yet how do we surveil him? Where is the transparency that SEC so much demands of others? Where is a public record of who this man consulted with? Were the commissioners asked for input and if not why not? What are his personal views of bitcoin? Is he a democrat?
Aleman doesn’t even have a profile page at the SEC. He seems to value his own privacy, but not ours. He demands we walk naked, while he is fully dressed, hiding deep somewhere inside the gray halls.
He most certainly should be fired. The decision document mentions a specific date, data analyzed by the 28th of February. That’s almost two weeks ago. Could he have not released the decision then? Did he have to allow so much speculation? Was it an intentional insult to the entire bitcoin community for this clearly already long ago made decision to be released at the very last hour? Who knew of the decision before it was released? Did any of them trade the market?
It is because bureaucrats trade in these sort of insults, with their decisions having no accountability, with there being no real checks and balances, with, in effect, one faceless man having so much power, a power which corrupts and is abused, that public trust in these institutions is at an all-time low.
Protecting the Public or Limiting Freedom?
This is a SEC that claims to protect the public, yet allowed banks to run amok, bankrupting nations such as Greece and giving the millennial generation the worst economic downturn in a century.
This is a SEC that claims to protect us, yet holds no one accountable when banks manipulate interest rates, when companies buy their own stocks, when decisions are constantly leaked, when even told about outright fraud such as Bernard Madoff. According to Wikipedia:
“Madoff’s name first came up in a fraud investigation in 1992, when two people complained to the SEC about investments they made with a firm called Avellino & Bienes. Madoff returned the money to investors and the SEC closed the case. In 2004, Genevievette Walker-Lightfoot, a lawyer in the SEC’s Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations (OCIE), informed her supervisor branch chief Mark Donohue that her review of Madoff found numerous inconsistencies, and recommended further questioning. However, she was told by Donohue and his boss Eric Swanson to stop work on the Madoff investigation, send them her work results, and instead investigate the mutual fund industry.”
One rule for them, another for us. Banks can even manipulate the price of bread, leading to riots in 2008 and perhaps even contributing to the Spring Revolutions, but they are them, they are the out of touch elite, they have different rules, including as good as complete immunity because “too big to fail.”
That’s why bitcoin was created. It doesn’t have an Aleman who unanimously can just decide with no accountability. It doesn’t require trust in any individual. Instead, it gives us the power to decide.
Bitcoin – The People’s Money
Bitcoin, the people’s money backed by the free market, has proved its proposition. Establishment bureaucrats are corrupt. The banks are corrupt. They require complete transparency from us, while themselves hiding. They want to know everything about us, while revealing nothing about themselves. Yet require us to trust them.
How about Aleman releases all his financials so that we can see if he engaged in manipulation or was manipulated?
He wouldn’t, of course. He values privacy one should think. Well, so do we. That’s why bitcoin has shrugged off the decision, climbing back to almost $1,200, roughly the same price as before yesterday.
The SEC’s decision might even be the best thing that has happened to bitcoin so far. The way this decision was made proves bitcoin’s fundamental premise. We have to trust them. Well, no more. With bitcoin, we can trust the people, not one man. We can trust that 51% of us are honest. We can trust that we, collectively, can make the best decisions where our own money is concerned and not one faceless bureaucrat. We can trust that the same rules apply to all.
This faceless decision gives ammunition to those who criticize the ever-growing nanny state that wants a finger in all things. It further empowers the libertarian movement in potentially a generational shift against an ever-growing state that in parts account for 50% of the economy.
A state that limits our freedom for no good reason as the SEC decision does not protect the public for the public can freely buy bitcoins at any time. Moreover, Aleman must be completely uninformed if he is not aware that PBoC is now regulating the Chinese exchanges. His complaint regarding liquidity at Gemini shows lack of awareness of the damaging role that regulators, like himself, can have – CFTC has not given Gemini the green light.
That’s bureaucracy. It took almost four years for Mr. Aleman to realize how the bitcoin market operates, slightly less than the Dickensian labyrinths. Then, once he gets his lazy self to make a decision, after asking entrepreneurs to spend god knows how much on lawyers, not to mention their own time, he gives us a nice Catch 22 to make Kafka proud. Even then, his information is out of date.
If that is not incompetence, I don’t know what is. And if the way this decision was made doesn’t prove bitcoin’s proposition that in a centralized system we have to trust corruptible administrators, I don’t know what does.
Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article are solely that of the author and do not represent those of, nor should they be attributed to CCN.
Image from Shutterstock.