Andrew Ceresney, the enforcement chief at the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), went before the House Financial Services Committee today, laid out his program and put on the table the SEC’s budget request — including hiring 93 additional staff for the enforcement division.
All the hires in the world won’t make a difference unless the SEC eliminates its double standard of justice.
That’s the take of Dennis Kelleher of Better Markets.
“Even after the financial crisis hurt so many American families who lost their homes, jobs and savings, the SEC’s Enforcement Division perpetuates a double standard of justice,” Kelleher said. “It throws the book at low level actors while letting the wealthy and well-connected too big to fail Wall Street banks and their executives off with, at most, slaps on the wrist. This persistent pattern incentivizes more lawlessness on Wall Street, where there is little fear of getting caught or getting meaningfully punished if they’re caught at all.”
“Enforcing the law in the suites is as important as doing so on the streets,” Kelleher said. “The SEC Enforcement Division must go after Wall Street’s industry leaders, executives and supervisors with the same zeal they go after others.”
“They need to require Wall Street’s biggest banks to fully disclose all the facts of the law-breaking, detail how the penalties paid fit the crime, how the action will actually deter future crime, and, no matter what, bring actions against the individuals responsible and bar them from the industry.”
Read the full Corporate Crime Reporter article here.