August 20, 2011
The protectors of Wall Street criminality
Matt Taibbi has a new article in the latest issue of Rolling Stone whose title Is the SEC Covering Up Wall Street Crimes? pretty much says it all.
It recounts the story of Darcy Flynn, a staff attorney at the SEC (the Securities and Exchange Commission that is supposed to regulate Wall Street) who blew the whistle about how the SEC has been systematically destroying documents about matters that it had investigated, thus destroying the chances of seeing patterns of criminal behavior.
Imagine a world in which a man who is repeatedly investigated for a string of serious crimes, but never prosecuted, has his slate wiped clean every time the cops fail to make a case. No more Lifetime channel specials where the murderer is unveiled after police stumble upon past intrigues in some old file – "Hey, chief, didja know this guy had two wives die falling down the stairs?" No more burglary sprees cracked when some sharp cop sees the same name pop up in one too many witness statements. This is a different world, one far friendlier to lawbreakers, where even the suspicion of wrongdoing gets wiped from the record.
That, it now appears, is exactly how the Securities and Exchange Commission has been treating the Wall Street criminals who cratered the global economy a few years back.
The article also relates how the SEC is particularly prone to the revolving door, where SEC regulators get lucrative jobs at the very firms that they are supposed to be regulating, and then come back and lobby their colleagues to drop investigations.
Cenk Uygur talks with Matt Taibbi about the revolving door following an earlier article by Taibbi.