These precious ones bring it on themselves.
Big banks and brokerage firms are handing over bigger checks to settle regulatory investigations, including those that don’t result in losses for investors. US market regulators are increasingly demanding tens of millions of dollars to settle technical violations that just a few years ago cost companies much less to resolve.
The SEC settles most of its enforcement cases, and Wall Street firms prefer to pay fines and avoid litigation that would put more heat on executives. But SEC officials under Chair Gary Gensler are seeking higher fines to settle, even if prior offenders paid less.
We’re supposed to feel sympathy for these…personages. Wall Street Is Furious Over Rising Fines From SEC goes the headline. There’s much about which to criticize Securities and Exchange Commission Chair Gary Gensler, but Wall Street executive shyness, fear of heat, outright cowardice isn’t on that list.
That those worthies would rather settle and skitter into the baseboard holes to avoid a bit of heat does severe disservice to the companies they’re pretending to manage and those companies’ shareholders. Litigation costs too much, and it’s cheaper to settle? Settling repeatedly runs up that cost and alters the balance.
If Wall Street managers were worthy of their paychecks, they’d hie the SEC into court over the SEC’s charges, which range from social and climate justice claptrap to the trivia noted in the linked article to the occasional legitimate SEC beef. It would take only a few wins in court to get the SEC to back off and stick to its knitting.
Knee-jerk settling SEC suits is a violation of those persons’ fiscal duties.