SEC Pornography Fiasco. Things Getting Out of Hand?
So . . . last night, as I'm watching ABC News, the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (the "SEC") took another one on the chin, or perhaps I should say that the venerable institution suffered a low blow to its groin. I think the title of the news story pretty much sums it up: SEC and Pornography: Workers Spent Hours on Porn Sites Instead of Stopping Fraud http://abcnews.go.com/WN/sec-pornography-employees-spent-hours-surfing-porn-sites/story?id=10451508 .
I mean, really, this SEC porn story is a close to someone lobbing me a softball as I could ever imagine. On the other hand, what else can I say to damn the present state of Wall Street regulation that I haven't been saying for years? As recently as April 20th, I wrote in my Blog entry: Why Wall Street Reform Is Doomed To Fail http://www.brokeandbroker.com/index.php?a=blog&id=375 :
Pass all the new laws that you want. Amend as many old laws as you wish. It simply will not matter. This is not about the written words. This is about a culture of corruption and incompetence that has permeated our society and Wall Street. Until such time as we infuse new blood into the system and force out the familiar cronies and their sycophants, nothing will change beyond the whitewash and plaster. . .
Now do you believe me?
Oh well . . . whatever, I guess. Frankly, I'm getting tired of all this nonsense. Last night, I posted a thoughtful piece about regulation: Goldman On the Bridge: The Firm That Would Be King http://www.brokeandbroker.com/index.php?a=blog&id=380. This morning I'm feeling less charitable. As such, we now go from the sublime to the ridiculous.
In many SEC settlements with the bad boys of Wall Street, the SEC elicits an undertaking whereby the defendant brokerage firm agrees to hire an independent consultant to review the firm's policies and procedures and to follow the proposed changes that the outsider requires. In keeping with that spirit, and without seeking any compensation whatsoever, I have accepted the self-appointed role of pro bono independent consultant and will freely offer the following proposals for the SEC to improve its policies.
REPORT OF SELF-APPOINTED CONSULTANT BILL SINGER
From: Bill Singer
To: SEC Chair Mary Schapiro
Date: April 23, 2010
RE: Allegations of Staff Porn Surfing: Proposed Remedies by Consultant
It has come to my attention that members of the SEC's Staff may be operating under a misimpression concerning a number of industry terms. Please ensure that the following expressions are properly explained to your Staff:Initial Public Offering: this is not the first sexual experience with a prostitute. Indication of Interest: this is not the negotiation of price with a prostitute Private Placement: this is not a consensual sex act between adults Regular Way Settlement: this is not the missionary position Pump And Dump: this is not an aberrant sex act The Spread: this is not something viewed at a peep show The Quiet Period: this is not the post-coital moment Breaking Escrow: this is not to be called the "money shot" Naked Short: this is not an undressed male Staffer on a cold day Self Regulator: this is an employee of FINRA not masturbation Secondary Offering: this is not a repeat sex act courtesy of Viagra
The SEC must immediately cancel any contemplated seminars with the Thailand securities authorities. This would not be a good time for Staff to be visiting Bangkok. In fact, the SEC should avoid any reference to that city whatsoever.
The SEC must immediately implement a policy that requires all Staff to use both hands on their computer keyboards at all times. Similarly, the SEC should provide Handi-Wipes for all visitors in the event that there is customary handshaking with Staff.
In response to growing reports of Staff vision problems and hairy palms, the SEC should expand its medical coverage to provide treatment for those maladies.