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June 8, 2015

It was Wrong for the SEC Chair to Hire a Goldman Sachs Executive as Chief of Staff

Hiring a Goldman Sachs Executive as the SEC’s chief of staff further undermines the trust and confidence of the American people & gives Wall Street more influence: The American people are sick and tired – indeed, disgusted – of seeing Wall Street’s too-big-to-fail banks welcomed with open arms in Washington, DC even though they crashed the financial system, received trillions in taxpayer bailouts, caused widespread economic wreckage and brazenly and repeatedly break the law. The SEC’s hiring of a Goldman Sachs executive to be the SEC Chair’s very powerful, very influential Chief of Staff is an affront to the tens of millions of American families who suffered through the 2008 financial crash and are still struggling to recover today.

The revolving door and the pernicious outsized influence Wall Street has over elected officials, policy makers, and regulators are seriously eroding the trust and confidence of the American people in its own government and democracy itself. This hire will only feed that cynicism. After all, this simply is not the only well-qualified person from among 320 million Americans for such an important high government position. Rather than giving Wall Street yet more influence and access, the SEC has to get back into the business of investor protection, fighting for real financial reform and putting the cops back on the Wall Street beat to end the crime spree Americans read about every day.

This is a sad, but glaring reminder of why the SEC isn’t respected or feared on Wall Street. While the agency has made some progress when it comes to chief compliance officers and basic oversight of high-frequency traders, SEC rulemaking has slowed to a crawl, their waiver and enforcement processes are broken, and the agency has largely failed to protect investors or hold wrongdoers accountable, especially executives and supervisors at the biggest, most powerful and most connected Wall Street banks like Goldman Sachs.

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