Corzine Faces Rare Charge in MF Global Case →

Why Congress Should Be Wary of Mary Jo White →

POGO’s financial investigator Michael Smallberg wants you to know a couple facts about Mary Jo White before her confirmation hearing tomorrow for head of the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The nomination may give the appearance that the president is hiring a tough cop to police Wall Street. But White doesn’t have an especially remarkable record of prosecuting Wall Street, and she has almost no record as a regulator, making it hard to predict what kind of rules she would craft for corporations in general or the financial industry in particular.

Moreover, she has spent the past decade as an attorney at the law firm Debevoise & Plimpton, where she defended clients before the government in white-collar cases.

Read more on POGO’s blog.

A study of thousands of government records shows a pervasive culture at the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the government’s top financial regulatory agency, of former SEC employees leaving the agency to go work at major banks. Former SEC employees have helped major firms secure exceptions from federal law, fight allegations of wrongdoing, and soften the blow of enforcement actions.

“The revolving door between the SEC and the firms it oversees is so pervasive that it threatens the integrity of our regulatory system,” said Michael Smallberg, the author of POGO’s new report.

Check out the full report to see just how bad it has gotten.

Yes the Justice Dept. is suing Standard & Poor's, but the rating agencies are still paid by the firms they rate →

And until the government deals with that core problem, the ratings agency system will not be fixed.

“If you get caught with your hand in the till you go to jail, but if you’re a big bank and you’re caught breaking the law it seems that all that happens is you’re fined and told you’ll go to jail if you do it again.”

Rosie Sharpe, commenting on the fact that major banks are now “too big to prosecute” in the wake of HSBC avoiding any criminal charges despite laundering billions of dollars for drug cartels and organizations with connections to terrorists.

(Source: telegraph.co.uk)

No Criminal Case Is Likely in Loss at MF Global →

The man who created one of the country’s biggest banks is now arguing that too big to fail banks should be split up.