Punishing the Whistle Blowers

“I saw the crisis coming; why didn’t The Federal Reserve?”

–Dr. Michael Burry, 2012 UCLA Economics Dept. Commencement Address

If you read Michael Lewis’ “The Big Short,” you doubtless remember Michael Burry:  the brilliant, one-eyed medical doctor/investment savant with borderline Asperger’s who predicted — and cashed in on — the looming financial and housing crashes.

What you may not have known was that, weeks after The New York Times published Burry’s 2010 Op-Ed piece criticizing the Fed, Congress, and the Administration, his by-then defunct investment funds were audited; Congress demanded his email and phone records going back to 2003; and the FBI investigated him.

According to Burry, the aforesaid harassment cost him “$1 million in legal and accounting fees, and thousands of hours of time wasted  . . . all because I asked questions.”

So, there you have it:  Wall Street executives who orchestrated the 2008 crash — and government officials who facilitated it — get a pass, while truth-speaking critics like Burry get the “klieg lights” treatment.

Assuming Burry’s allegations are true, I have two questions of my own:  1) exactly who sicced the government interlocutors on Burry?; and 2) isn’t that sort of retaliation illegal?  (I associate it with Nixon’s enemies list and other nasty relics).

About the author

Ross Kaplan has 19+ years experience selling real estate all over the Twin Cities. He is also a 12-time consecutive "Super Real Estate Agent," as determined by Mpls. - St. Paul Magazine and Twin Cities Business Magazine. Prior to becoming a Realtor, Ross was an attorney (corporate law), CPA, and entrepreneur. He holds an economics degree from Stanford.

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