Mark Cuban has a very low opinion of the Securities and Exchange Commission.
In an interview with CNBC’s Power Lunch on Thursday, Cuban ranted against the SEC and said that he gave some strong advice to hedge fund legend Leon Cooperman, who is facing insider trading charges.
“I’ll tell you exactly what I told him, I told him to kick their arse,” said Cuban to CNBC. “If this is six years later that they’re bringing this [case against Cooperman], it’s probably nonsense. I told him if it ends up going to trial read the transcripts of other SEC trails because they tend to do the same thing and make the same stupid mistakes.”
Thursday was no different, as Cuban attacked the regulator for being ineffective and opaque.
“The thing about the SEC and insider trading, there are no insider trading laws,” said Cuban. “You can talk to five people at the SEC and none of them will give you the same definition for any particular scenario for insider trading. No one really knows what the law is.”
Cuban said that the SEC also has no impetus to change and clarify the law, because it would reduce the number of charges brought and lead to layoffs within the enforcement division. He said the current composition of the laws makes insider trading “hard to prove” and just “wastes taxpayer money.”
According to Cuba, the SEC brings charges so often on murky regulations that paying a civil fine for insider trading is “like a speeding ticket.”
Cuban did offer some suggestions for the regulator on how to improve the laws.
“I think the SEC has to change the way they do business,” said the investor and media personality. “I think have to start defining bright lines on what insider trading is.”
Check out Cuban’s full comments from CNBC below: