SEC Changes Policy to End Sweetheart Settlements & Wall Street’s Crime Spree
“The SEC’s announcement that it is ending its policy of settling enforcement cases without requiring individuals or companies to admit or deny guilt is good news for investors, our capital markets, our financial system and the many market participants that follow the law. As proved by the headlines almost every day, Wall Street is a high crime area and the too-big-to-fail Wall Street firms and their executives have been unpunished for their crime spree for too long,” said Dennis Kelleher, President and CEO of Better Markets, Inc., a nonprofit organization that promotes the public interest in the financial markets.
“It is critically important for the SEC to restore not only the rule of law, but also respect for the law on Wall Street and our markets generally. By ending the era of sweetheart deals for the rich, powerful and well-connected of Wall Street, this policy change should help to do that,” Mr. Kelleher said.
“While the announced policy change is important, the SEC must still do more to restore confidence in it and our markets. Regarding settlements, it must be much more transparent about settlements generally and when it decides to require an admission of guilt or not in particular. Regarding market structure, it must attack the conflicts of interest that are becoming pervasive and it must stop predatory high speed computer trading. Regarding investors, it must pass a strong fiduciary duty standard to stop unscrupulous brokers and advisors from misleading investors into thinking they are acting in investors’ best interests when they are maximizing their own incomes at their client’s expense,” Mr. Kelleher concluded.
Better Markets is an independent, nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that promotes the public interest in financial reform in the domestic and global capital and commodity markets. Better Markets advocates for transparency, oversight and accountability with the goal of a stronger, safer financial system that is less prone to crisis and failure thereby eliminating or minimizing the need for more taxpayer funded bailouts.