Mon Feb 11, 2013, 01:37 AM
WillyT (56,838 posts)
SEC Revolving Door Fuels Wall Street's Too Big To Fail Problem - HuffPo
SEC Revolving Door Fuels Wall Street's Too Big To Fail Problem
Zach Carter - HuffPo
Posted: 02/11/2013 12:01 am EST | Updated: 02/11/2013 12:13 am EST
WASHINGTON -- The steady flow of officials from the Securities and Exchange Commission into top corporate jobs feeds a regulatory culture of weak law enforcement and preferential treatment for big banks, according to a new report from the Project on Government Oversight: http://www.pogo.org/our-work/reports/sec-revolving-door.html
The group, a non-partisan investigative watchdog, said information it obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request shows 419 former SEC employees filed at least 1,949 disclosure statements revealing that they planned to represent a private-sector client with SEC business from 2001 to 2010. SEC employees are only required to file disclosure statements for the first two years after leaving the agency.
The flood of former SEC officials pressing the agency to go easy on their new private sector clients has influenced the outcome of dozens of cases in which the SEC issues official waivers exempting companies from standard penalties, the report said. These waivers appeared especially generous in cases involving repeat offenders -- companies that the SEC sanctions for multiple violations within a few years.
Big banks routinely receive this special treatment from the SEC, even after repeatedly breaking the law, the Project on Government Oversight said.
"Since 2003, the SEC had granted exemptions to JPMorgan and its subsidiaries when they were charged with alleged misconduct relating to mortgage securities products, transactions with Enron, initial product offerings, and research analyst conflicts of interest," the report said. JPMorgan Chase didn't reply to a request for comment.
Swiss banking giant UBS was granted waivers after the SEC charged the bank with violating the same anti-fraud provision of federal securities laws three different times from 2008 to 2012, according to the report. UBS declined to comment.
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