Monday, June 22, 2009
Yes, Virginia, there is a S.E.C.
The Securities and Exchange Commission, at least in the Southern District of Florida, is comprised of an incredibly talented group of smart, aggressive experienced lawyers who for the last two decades, have worked tirelessly to rid South Florida of financial crime. Every single day from 9 a.m. to 3:30 pursuant to union rules, the brave lawyers at the S.E.C. lay it on the line as the Protector of the People, the gatekeepers who ward off financial fraud in South Florida. And darn it, far be it from us to Monday Morning Quarterback their efforts. The proof is in the pudding, and financial fraud has pretty much been eradicated in South Florida.
So imagine our dismay upon reading that President Obama's administration is considering shifting some of the Commission's jurisdiction to other agencies. Specifically , the Commission may lose authority in three areas: 1) to the Federal Reserve Board to the extent that the latter is made the "systemic-risk regulator"; 2) to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. as the new czar over the liquidation of troubled financial institutions; and 3) to a new consumer protection agency that may be given broad jurisdiction over consumer financial products. I'm still scratching my head regarding the wisdom of divesting a regulatory agency of authority, when it is firing on all cylinders and fulfilling its charge.
As I read it, the proposed changes would pretty much leave the S.E.C. free from the distraction of silly stuff like Madoff and Stanford , so it may focus on the challenge of ferreting out sophisticated boiler room pump and dump penny stock manipulators in Boca.
Well, that's it for me. Its been my privilege to keep the chair warm and serve as Toymaker to The King. Like you, I look forward to the return of The Big Man. I'll leave you with a final tune, and share what I hope is a very wrong rumor: word on the street, or at least in the Federal Judicial Law Clerk Circle, is that Magistrate Judge Garber intends to announce his retirement. That would be a bad thing, because Judge Garber for his tenure on the bench has distinguished himself as one of the best, and a jurist of unwavering fairness and intellect. If true, we will miss him.