If one thing consistently animated the otherwise naturally inanimate Jay Clayton during his tenure atop the Securities and Exchange Commission, it was an abiding distaste for whistleblowers. Whether motivated by laziness or snitches-get-stitches sensibility about one’s duty of loyalty to one’s employer, it is possibly the only thing the otherwise amorphous white-shoe attorney ever really believed it. So you could be absolutely certain that if there was anything Clayton was going to get done as the clock ran down on his patron’s term and the whistleblower complaints began to horrifying flood his office, it was going to be pushing through his plan to change the SEC’s whistleblower-award determination scale to “whatever the fuck I feel like,” which he did.
Many arguments were raised as to the inadvisability of this, but they of course missed the point, because the things that made the new system inadvisable in the eyes of those making them—that they might discourage would-be whistleblowers—was of course the very thing that made it attractive to Jay Clayton in the first place. Unfortunately for those current and future Securities and Exchange Commissioners of a similar mind, Clayton—in spite of his Ivy League legal education—shares something with fellow Donald Trump nominee Judy Shelton (who is, incredibly, still a nominee, since the president got around to renominating her in between inciting an insurrection against the government he nominally leads), which is to say a less-than-perfect grasp of the law. Or, at least, this guy hopes so.
Jordan Thomas, who chairs the whistleblower representation practice at law firm Labaton Sucharow LLP… is challenging two aspects of the changes. One is the SEC’s clarification that it has the discretion to consider the potential dollar amount of the final payout as a factor in calculating the award, bringing more uncertainties to the process, he said.
Another is the SEC’s new rule that a law-enforcement or separate regulatory action doesn’t qualify as a “related action” if the SEC determines that a separate award program has more direct or relevant connection to the separate action—potentially limiting an award, the complaint said.
Mr. Thomas argues that the SEC had no statutory authority to enact these changes and the regulator adopted the amendments “without providing a reasoned explanation and despite the enormous harms it will cause the whistleblower program,” among other reasons, according to the complaint.
Whistleblower Lawyer Sues the SEC Over Bounty Program Rule Changes [WSJ]
Whistle-Blowing Soars to Record With Americans Working From Home [Bloomberg]
Trump renominates Judy Shelton in last-ditch bid to reshape Fed [The Hill]