On Fox News, Andrea Tantaros and Dana Perino suggested that the Obama Administration was trying to "crush the job creators" by imposing a $15,000 fine on Peter Schiff for "hiring too many workers." However, Schiff's fine was imposed by a private entity.
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Fox News Hosts Falsely Suggest Obama Admin "Demonized" CEO For Too Much Hiring
Tantaros: Based On Testimony From CEO Schiff, "The Message Of This Administration" Is "Crush The Job Creators." On Fox New's The Five, co-host Andrea Tantaros suggested that Peter Schiff, CEO of Euro Pacific Capital, was being "demonized" by the Obama administration for "hiring too many workers." From Fox News' The Five:
PERINO: There was a CEO, Peter Schiff today, talking about how as a job creator, he is the CEO of Euro And Pacific Capital -- Euro Pacific Capital -- that he was actually penalized by the government for hiring too many people. Check this out.
SCHIFF (video clip): You're looking at somebody who is sitting here, who was actually fined, and I would be happy to talk my experience. I was fined $15,000 by security regulators because I hired too many people. Because I hired too many people, I incurred over $500,000 in legal bills defending myself because I hired too many people. Because I hired too many people, I've been on a hiring freeze, ordered by regulators, for three years.
PERINO: Andrea, that doesn't seem add up, but he's testifying under oath. So --
TANTAROS: It doesn't, but that's the message of this administration. They really want to crush the job creators. Look, you can't hurt -- you can't stick it to Joe Six Pack's boss without it trickling down and eventually hurting Joe Six Pack. OK, the rich guy is the one that does the hiring. These rich millionaires and billionaires are the ones giving everybody jobs in this country. I don't know why that's demonized. And it's not going to be a winning message in the end. It's not, because we need employment.[Fox News, The Five, 9/20/11]
Schiff Has Acknowledged That He Wasn't Actually Fined By Government Regulators At All
Schiff Says FINRA Is Actually Responsible For $15,000 Fine And "It's Not Technically The Government." During the September 20 edition of On The Record with Greta Van Susteren, Peter Schiff explained the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), not the government, was actually the party responsible for the $15,000 dollar fine. From the show:
GRETA VAN SUSTEREN (host): Let me ask you a couple quick questions. Who are the regulators? What division of the government?
SCHIFF: Well the government -- well the SEC is part of the government. But the securities division which I'm a part of --
VAN SUSTEREN: FCC or SEC?
SCHIFF: is regulated by FINRA --
VAN SUSTEREN: OK.
SCHIFF: -- which is a private self-regulatory organization, but the government requires me to be a member. So it's not technically the government, but the government requires me to be a member of this organization in order to be a broker and a lot of the regulations though that FINRA is enforcing come from Washington.
One of the worse ones was the Patriot Act. The anti-money laundering provisions of the Patriot Act cost me a fortune. And basically they turned me into an unpaid IRS agent and FBI agent spying on every one of my customers and if any of my customers looked like they're doing something suspicious I got to turn them into the government, and if I don't turn them in, that's a crime.[Fox News, On The Record with Greta Van Susteren, 9/20/11]
Schiff "Accept[ed] and Consent[ed]" To FINRA's Finding That It Violated Applicable Regulations. In 2010, Schiff signed a FINRA "letter of acceptance, waiver, and consent" finding that Euro Pacific Capital had violated industry rules. The letter stated that Euro Pacific Capital "accepts and consents" to FINRA's findings "without admitting or denying the findings." FINRA found that Euro Capital had materially changed its business by more than doubling its sales staff without approval from FINRA in violation of National Association of Securities Dealers Rule 1017. From the letter Schiff signed:
Respondent hereby accepts and consents, without admitting or denying the findings and solely for the purposes of this proceeding and any other proceeding brough by or on behalf of FINRA, or to which FINRA is a party, prior to a hearing and without any adjudication of any issue of law or fact, to the entry of the following findings by FINRA:
Between May 2008 and February 2009, EPC [Euro Pacific Capital] implemented a material change in its business operations by increasing its staff of "associated persons involved in sales," as that term is defined in FINRA Interpretive Manual 1011-1 ("IM-1011-1"), beyond the "safe harbor"limitations set forth in IM-1011-1 without first obtaining approval from FINRA as required by Rule 1017. [Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, 7/28/10]
Schiff's Company Had Been Fined For Violating The Same Rule During The Bush Administration. According to the FINRA "letter of acceptance, waiver, and consent" that Schiff signed, FINRA had previously fined Euro Pacific Capital for making a material change in its business without first obtaining consent. From the FINRA letter:
In December 2008, EPC entered into an AWC [acceptance, waiver, and consent] with FINRA that imposed a censure and a $37,500 fine for violations of NASD Conduct Rules 3010, 3011 and 2110 and NASD Membership and Registration Rule 1017. ("Rule 1017") The Rule 1017 violation was based on the EPC's failure, from October 13, 2001 through November 28, 2005, to file an application to obtain approval from FINRA for a material change in its business operations. Specifically, EPC received customer checks throughout that period, thereby increasing the firm's minimum net capital requirement. This increase constituted a material change in business requiring the firm to file a continuing member application with FINRA. For this Rule 1017 violation, EPC paid a $5,000 fine. [Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, 7/28/10]
Fox Has Been Echoing GOP's War On Regulations
AP: "The House Republican Agenda This Fall Will Focus On Repealing Environmental And Labor Regulations." On August 29, the Associated Press reported that repealing regulations would be a priority for the Republican Party. [Associated Press, 8/29/11]
Fox News: "Regulation Nation" Programming Will "Expose How Excessive Laws Are Drowning American Businesses." [Media Matters, 9/12/11]
Fox's Assault On Regulations Has Taken On Child Labor, Workplace Safety, And Civil Rights Laws. As part of its week-long special targeting government regulations, Fox's "straight news" program, Special Report with Bret Baier, listed "jobs regulations" that supposedly "adversely impact ... small business owners in a real-time way." However, the regulations listed by Fox include vital statutes that are the bedrock of 20th and 21st Century worker protections in the United States. [Media Matters, 9/17/11]
Correction: This item originally incorrectly interpreted Peter Schiff's testimony that he "was even fined fifteen thousand dollar expressly for hiring too many brokers in 2008." Schiff's company was fined in 2010 for actions it took in 2008. This item has been revised to reflect that. Media Matters regrets the error.