Monday, February 14, 2011

Patt Morrison for Tues, 2/15/2011


Tuesday, February 15, 2011

1-3 p.m.




1:00 – 1:40



1:40 – 2:00

The Dodd-Frank Law gives "whistle while you work" a whole new meaning

CNBC has reported that the Securities and Exchange Commission used to receive 12 to 24 quality fraud tips per year, but now they are getting one to two good tips per day. This could lead to hundreds of fraud leads per year. The SEC credits the increase to the system of rewarding cash money for whistle-blowing. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, in 1988 there were only 43 whistle-blowing cases that generated settlements of $2 million and payouts of $97,000, but in 2010 there were 573 whistle-blowing cases that generated settlements of $2.3 billion and payouts of $385 million. Lawyers who successfully prosecute the cases typically keep 40 percent of the payout money. However, Stuart Meissner, a securities fraud lawyer in New York City, recently paid to advertise his legal services before showings of the movie, Wall Street 2: Money Never Sleeps, in Brooklyn, Manhattan and Long Island movie theaters, and it appears from the ad that Mr. Meissner plans to keep up to 70 percent of the respective whistle-blower’s reward for his law firm’s services. Will the big “pay-day” system of whistle-blowing deter fraudulent activity on Wall Street and protect the taxpayers from having to fund future bailouts of the banking system?



Stephen M. Kohn, Executive Director of the National Whistleblowers Center. He has a new book coming out on March 1st called "The Whistleblower's Handbook," which covers Dodd-Frank, the False Claims Act and the IRS whistleblower law.



Stuart D. Meissner, a securities fraud lawyer in New York City.



Eric Havian, a partner at Phillips & Cohen, a whistle-blower firm that worked on the passage of Dodd Frank.



2:00 – 2:20




2:21 – 2:39

Allegations of overspending, underfunding and recklessness fly in the face of the FAA

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is having its problems—airlines want to water down pilot training regulations they consider ill-informed; reported air traffic controller mistakes have doubled since 2008; and a report out last week from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) finds that the FAA is far outspending its pocketbook, which is primarily funded by excise taxes and fees paid by you, the consumer. It’s a near perfect storm that could result in less safe, more expensive flights in the U.S. What’s being done to address the problems, both in Congress and throughout the airline industry? And could the solution be even higher fees for airline travelers? Patt checks in with experts in all concerned sectors.




TBD, spokesperson from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)


TBD, co-author of the Government Accountability Office’s February 3rd report, “Airport and Airway Trust Fund: Declining Balance Raise Concerns over Ability to Meet Future Demands


William Voss, president & CEO of the Flight Safety Foundation; former director of air traffic systems development at the Federal Aviation Administration and a former air traffic controller

CALL HIM Read the GAO report:


2:40 – 3:00

It’s a bird! It’s a plane! Nope – it’s a high-speed rail plan, and a lot of Republicans don’t like it

Vice President Biden announced last week the Obama Administration’s plan to put $53 billion toward upgrading and building a national, high-speed rail network. The administration has already allocated $10.5 billion to passenger rail programs, with the majority of funding going to projects in the planning stage in California and Florida. In fact, California will benefit again with the largest chunk of the new rail budget going toward the Golden State’s $43 billion bullet train project plan. But that’s all assuming Congress loosens the purse strings enough to let the plan survive. Immediately after the announcement, House Republicans publicly decried the plan, questioning its merits. House Transportation Committee Chairman John Mica of Florida said previous administrations’ high-speed rail projects were failures, and Railroads Subcommittee Chairman Bill Shuster of Pennsylvania called the plan “insanity,” but did express support for a high-speed rail network in the Northeast where the population is dense. So will the new plan make it through the Republican controlled House of Representatives that is already hell-bent on cutting spending at every corner? And even if it does, how successful will a high-speed rail network be in a day and age during which technology advances leaps and bounds seemingly every day? If for no other reason, people might like the thought of saving the money that would normally have been spent on expensive gasoline.



Leslie McCarthy, assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering at the Villanova University’s College of Engineering



Roy Kienitz, Under Secretary for Policy, United States Department of Transportation




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