Maybe It’s Time

I’ve written before about the…suboptimality…of the SEC using its own “court” system (in quotes because it’s more of a kangaroo court system, with the SEC serving as accuser, prosecutor, judge (no jury), punisher, and appellate “court”). The SEC has even pretended to be changing its ways.

Now, this.

After five years, four judges, three rulings, two appeals and the loss of their careers, John Flannery and James Hopkins this month won their legal battle against the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The former State Street Corp executives’ long legal fight took place almost entirely in the SEC’s in-house court system, which agency officials have lauded as offering a fast-track alternative to federal court.

Their problem is all too typical of this SEC.

Since Mary Jo White became SEC chairman in April 2013, the median time for the agency to decide appeals of its in-house judges’ decisions has increased to 19 months….

Then there’s the excuse.

A key part of the agency’s argument has been that the internal tribunal is more efficient.

You bet it is. The conviction and upholding rate is through the roof compared with the rates from those cases that make it out of the SEC and into an actual Federal court.

Since the bureaucrats at the SEC place their own imperatives ahead of their job, maybe it’s time to disband the SEC and replace it with a securities industry overseer that will place its job ahead of the imperatives of the new, fresh personnel who will populate it.

Alternatively, maybe it’d be sufficient to replace the head bureaucrat with someone who understands for whom she works.

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