Is it possible that for nearly 20 years, one of the two administrative judges presiding over investor complaints at the Commodity Futures Trading Commission has followed through on a secret vow to rule on the side of financial firms and professionals against individual investors?
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On his way out the door last month, retiring judge George Painter levied that very charge against his now-former colleague, Bruce Levine. "On Judge Levine's first week on the job, nearly twenty years ago, he came into my office and stated that he had promised Wendy Gramm, then Chairwoman of the Commission, that we would never rule in a complainant's favor," Painter wrote in an order. "A review of his rulings will confirm that he fulfilled his vow."
(Wendy Gramm, a Republican appointee, is the wife of former Senator, and financial deregulator, Phil Gramm, neither of whom would comment for this story.)