Securities and Exchange Commission

  • 20 Jan 2015 at 3:05 PM

SEC Suspends S&P For Being Bad

Standard_Poor_231211Standard & Poor’s will be suspended for a year from rating securities in the biggest piece of the commercial-mortgage bond market in a $60 million settlement with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, according to a person with knowledge of the matter. The deal, which the person said may be announced as soon as tomorrow, will be the agency’s toughest action against a major credit rater. The SEC, which has been examining whether the credit rater bent criteria to win business in 2011, will ban the company from grading securities backed by multiple commercial loans, the person said. [Bloomberg]

Our friends at The Wall Street Journal did the heavy lifting, forcing the SEC to unredact the testimony of a dozen unfortunate souls questioned by the SEC, so it would be churlish not to enjoy all of the awkwardness, bad jokes, requests for corporal punishment and, of course, invocations of Fifth Amendment rights available therein. Read more »

As many of you know, in 2010, the SEC created a whistleblower program wherein a person who “comes forward with high-quality original information that leads to a Commission enforcement action in which over $1,000,000 in sanctions is ordered” can collect a nice little payout (awards range from 10-30% of the total collected). So you can’t really blamed the unnamed man or woman who submitted 196 applications1 for awards over the last 3.5 years in an attempt to win a nice li’l finder’s fee for him/herself, but the SEC can decide to make it official policy that any future cases submitted by this person shall be used for kindling, which it did last month. Read more »

  • 19 Nov 2013 at 1:32 PM

Area SEC Staffer Was Bad

New York-based employee Steven Gilchrist was charged with three counts of making false statements regarding the nature of his personal financial holdings, according a criminal complaint filed in the Southern District of New York. Mr. Gilchrist was arrested Tuesday, the Manhattan U.S. attorney’s office said. The arrest is tied to a recent probe of the personal financial holdings of some SEC employees in New York by U.S. prosecutors and the Securities and Exchange Commission’s internal watchdog, which The Wall Street Journal reported last week. Mr. Gilchrist, a compliance examiner at the agency, allegedly told the SEC three times that he had no stockholdings prohibited by the agency’s ethical rules, when in reality he had shares of six companies that agency staffers are barred from holding, the complaint said. The SEC has strict rules on the stocks employees can hold. The agency goes further in its employee-trading restrictions than many other federal agencies, which generally prohibit employees from working on any matter in which they have financial interests. [WSJ]

Thinking the impending government shutdown will save you from getting nailed by the Securities and Exchange Commission for insider trading or other types of financial chicanery? Think again! Read more »

U.S. regulators proposed new rules Wednesday that would require public companies to disclose the pay gap between chief executives and rank-and-file employees, a controversial requirement that thrusts executive compensation into the spotlight. A divided Securities and Exchange Commission voted 3-to-2 to float a less onerous measure than what the SEC was ordered to adopt in the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial law, giving companies flexibility in how they calculate the ratio to cut back on its expected costs. [WSJ]

Who Wants To Be Chair(wo)man Of The SEC? (Update)

Dealbook reports that Mary Schapiro has given official notice and come December 14th, she’s out of there. Names being floated as possible successors are said to include Sallie Krawcheck and the SEC’s director of enforcement, Robert Khuzami, but on the off-chance they’re not interested, want to throw yours or a loved one’s C.V. in the mix? Update: Apparently Obama plans to nominate Elisse Walter, an SEC commissioner and former FINRA VP, to take over. So you’ve probably got less of a shot at this point  but anything can happen!

  • 15 Nov 2012 at 6:27 PM

Bonus Watch ’12: SEC Whistleblowers

The Securities and Exchange Commission said Thursday it received more than 3,000 tips in the past fiscal year. The SEC said the tips — 3,001 in all — came from all 50 states, Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico and from 49 countries. It announced the findings in a report required by the Dodd-Frank Act on the activity of the SEC’s whistleblower office, which opened its doors in August last year…Under the program created by the Dodd-Frank Act, whistleblowers can receive a 10% to 30% reward if they provide original information that leads to a successful enforcement case netting a penalty of $1 million or more. The SEC issued its first reward under the program on Aug. 21 to an informant who didn’t want to be identified. The whistleblower received $50,000, or 30% of the $150,000 thus far reclaimed out of the multimillion-dollar fraud the person prevented, the SEC said at the time. [WSJ]