Doug Whitman

  • 25 Jan 2013 at 12:25 PM

Doug Whitman is Sorry

Sorry that he is going to prison. Because he certainly doesn’t sound—through counsel—like he’s sorry about the insider-trading that he was convicted of in August. Read more »

I haven’t been following the Doug Whitman case that closely but I got the vague impression that he wasn’t that guilty. Like, he did his research and thought it was his job to dig up information about public companies, he sought “color” rather than clearly-material hard numbers from executives, and he thought that when insider-trading-trial-Zelig Roomy Khan was saying things like “I am giving you illegal inside information” it was all a big joke, presumably of the you had to be there variety. That all sounds plausible-ish to me, though maybe not much more than that.

Anyway a jury disagreed and now he “faces a maximum possible sentence of 50 years in prison, though he is expected to receive far less than that,” and so I guess it’s time to fire up the old Insider Trading Sentencing Machine and see how much. He seems to have made “over $900,000,” he worked for a hedge fund, and he went to trial, which is all the machine needs to spit out its verdict.*

Which is a sort of frustrating fact about the machine. (And, of course, the actual sentencing regime it represents. The machine faithfully replicates the world, or has so far, more or less.) Here is how you – I, anyway – sort of want it to work:

The axes being (x) amount of money involved, (y) how guilty you are, and (z) how many years you spend in jail. Just going around being like “let’s insider trade, it’s awesome, later we’ll throw hard drives in dumpsters” should get you more time than looking for “color” from tipsters with no duty of confidentiality and occasionally semi-honestly getting, um, vivid lifelike color from tipsters with such duties. Sadly the way it works is more like this: Read more »

…Before losing his patience and wondering aloud what the hell she was good for if not bringing him hot tips. Read more »