We wonder: why does the truth about the broken system, as witnessed and experienced by individual employees, always wait until said employee is about to depart their employer or just after? Obviously that is rhetorical. However, it is worth mentioning, because in the latest such revelation, a retiring SEC trail attorney veteran, James Kidney, who had been with the agency since 1986 and retired this month, just crucified his now former employer for doing precisely all those thing that outside critics - notably Zero Hedge - have accused the most co-opted, clueless, corrupt and criminal regulators of doing. Only he said it in a way that not even we could have phrased.
The SEC has become “an agency that polices the broken windows on the street level and rarely goes to the penthouse floors,” Kidney said, according to a copy of his remarks obtained by Bloomberg News. “On the rare occasions when enforcement does go to the penthouse, good manners are paramount. Tough enforcement, risky enforcement, is subject to extensive negotiation and weakening.”
Kidney said his superiors were more focused on getting high-paying jobs after their government service than on bringing difficult cases. The agency’s penalties, Kidney said, have become “at most a tollbooth on the bankster turnpike.”
Wow: another "erudite" former cog in the systemic wheel goes off the reservation and gets all tinfoil bloggy on us. He goes on:
In his speech, Kidney also hit the agency for using misleading statistics to showcase its enforcement efforts. The SEC should focus on the quality of its actions, rather than try to file as many as possible just to tout its record to lawmakers and the media, he said.
“It is a cancer,” Kidney said of the agency’s use of numbers. “It should be changed.”
His name was James Kidney.
Kidney said in the interview that he will always be an SEC loyalist and was trying to offer constructive criticism that could help the agency. He said he wasn’t singling out any specific cases or officials in his comments.
“I don’t think we did a very aggressive job with all the major players in the crash of ’08,” he said, noting that as a civil enforcement agency, the commission does not need to prove its cases beyond a reasonable doubt like the Justice Department does. “The SEC has a lower burden of proof and we should be pushing the envelope a bit.”
You mean, pretending to regulate the same people where SEC staffers wish to work will no longer fool most of the people all of the time? The horror... The horror.
A quick reminder on the Goldman wrist slap deal with the SEC, where Kidney was part of the initial, if not final team.
Kidney, who was part of the initial team that was building the Goldman Sachs case, pressed his bosses in the enforcement division to go higher up the chain. He later took himself off the team after being given a lesser role, according to people familiar with the matter.
In particular, the people said, Kidney argued that the commission should sue Tourre’s boss, Jonathan Egol. Kidney also wanted to bring a case against Paulson & Co. or some executives at the hedge fund, which helped pick the portfolio of securities that were underlying the Abacus vehicle and then bet against it.
The SEC ultimately decided not to sue Egol, the Paulson firm or any individuals from the hedge fund.
Yes, it was all the not even 30 year old Tourre's fault. All of it. And the person who dared to point out this criminal disdain for justice by the SEC? He was demoted by the most corrupt of all: Mary Schapiro.
The punchline - the SEC is a regulator only for optical purposes. It's true role is not to shake up the status quo.
In his retirement speech, Kidney noted that he had been “involved in a high-profile case or two” and said he had gotten a message from above not to take too many risks.
“I have had bosses, and bosses of my bosses, whose names we all know, who made little secret that they were here to punch their ticket,” Kidney said. “They mouthed serious regard for the mission of the commission, but their actions were tentative and fearful in many instances.”
Simply said: disgusting and pathetic - both the sad truth about the US market "regulator", which most were already aware of, and that an SEC employee has to wait until the day he quits to express it.
Oh, and if anyone still wants to know why the perfectly legal parasitism of HFT has turned off the retail investors for the last time, and why everyone knows the market is rigged - it is not the vacuum tubes. Nope. It is the criminals at the SEC who made it legal for 25 year old math PhDs to rig stocks in the first place, and who allowed the TBTF banks to make the marketplace into their own personal no risk, all return piggy bank. Them, and of course Congress - because when the day comes that all those idiotic trades blow up and the banks have to pay the penalty, why - they just get another taxpayer bailout, courtesy of America's democratically elected "representatives."