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SEC: Back to the Basics? →

“With the announcement of these initiatives, it appears that the SEC is going back to basics to improve its enforcement statistics. In 2012, only 11 percent of the SEC’s enforcement actions were focused on accounting fraud and financial disclosures, a significant decrease from previous years….

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.

How Former Government Regulators Keep Banks Too Big To Fail

If you aren’t ready to dive into the 59 pages and 274 footnotes of our recent report on the revolving door at the Securities and Exchange Commission, you can watch the 2 minute version below from The Huffington Post.

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.

No Criminal Case Is Likely in Loss at MF Global →