Yesterday, a retiring 38-year veteran trial lawyer's remarks shone a brighter light on the farce that the SEC has become in recent years. The SEC has become “an agency that polices the broken windows on the street level and rarely goes to the penthouse floors,” Kidney said, adding that 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.” As the full letter below shows, he had a lot more to add on just how the toothless agency should be run...
"The only other item I want to be serious about, besides some personal observations in a minute, is the metric of the division of enforcement: number of cases brought. It is a cancer. It should be changed.
The metric we have now is built into the soul of the Division. It has to be removed root and branch"
His concluding questions leave management mouths open...
"Are we so sure that our own domestic corporations and audit firms are law abiding that we can spend vast quantities of staff time and taxpayer money worrying about firms in other countries because a handful of ADRs are sold on U.S. markets?
Are we so paralyzed by the organizational stovepipes we have created and made more and more of that we can’t flood the zone on important cases instead?
Do we have to preserve bureaucratic organizational boundaries by sweating the minutiae just so each organizational unit can claim to have enough to do to protect some manager’s turf?"
Kidney's Full Retirement Comments below:
Still think he must be exaggerating and is just venting after a lifetime of thankless litigation.. think again...
Bruce Karpati, a former top Securities and Exchange Commission lawyer, is heading to private-equity giant KKR & Co. to become global chief compliance officer, said people familiar with the matter.
Mr. Karpati, most recently the chief compliance officer for Prudential Financial Inc.'s mutual fund business, is expected to start at KKR later this month, one of the people said.
Mr. Karpati will oversee KKR's compliance with regulations around the world. KKR is a registered investment adviser and has a broker dealer in the U.S. He succeeds H.J. Willcox, who left KKR last year for a similar position at AQR Capital Management LLC.
Mr. Karpati spent more than a dozen years at the SEC, rising through the ranks to lead the enforcement division's asset-management unit. He oversaw investigations into a wide variety of investment firms, including a probe that ultimately led to a settlement between hedge-fund manager Philip Falcone and the SEC that banned Mr. Falcone from the securities industry for several years.
As a gentle reminder, here is what Kidney said...
Kidney said his superiors were more focused on getting high-paying jobs after their government service than on bringing difficult cases.
Shocked...? So does the C in SEC stand for Cronyism of another "C" word?