A Judge Colorfully Described How Banks Are Beating The SEC Every Which Way

Mortal Kombat On Knee

Photo: Thyen via YouTube

The WSJ’s Jean Englesham looks today at how effective the SEC has been in bringing White Collar criminals to justice for actions that brought about the Great Recession.The agency claims it’s doing its best. And it probably is.

But it’s reached settlements with just 24 out of 74 people charged by the agency since 2009.

“The SEC’s weak settlements need scrutiny,” Sen. Charles Grassley says. “The lack of accountability from Wall Street encourages recidivism.” 

One nugget in particular jumped out at us:

In February, a judge reviewing the case against former Bear Stearns hedge fund managers Ralph Cioffi and Matthew Tannin — you remember them — said the SEC’s proposed $1.05 million settlement was “chump change” compared with the $1.8 billion lost by the pair’s investor group.

“You had some tough adversaries,” U.S. District Judge Frederic Block told an SEC lawyer. “They brought you down to your knees.”

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