Columbia Journalism Review interviews the Miami Herald reporter whose series we have highlighted here many times.

JD: I expected there would be some criminal histories. There’s gonna be a few pot possessions and stuff like that. The law said that they were supposed to screen brokers for crimes involving fraud, dishonesty, and “moral turpitude”, which has a pretty broad definition. When I saw the first screen, and one of the first people was a bank robber. I said, “okay, how did a bank robber slide around that definition?”

TA: How many were prevented from getting licenses?

JD: Whenever the agency takes some sort of action against a broker or even an applicant, they have to file a final order, so we went back and looked through all the final orders for denial of licenses that mentioned fraud, dishonesty or moral turpitude. I forget what the number was, but I’m tempted to say twenty-nine from 2000 to 2007.

TA: They had the regulatory power to do this. What was the reason they didn’t? A big part of the problem on Wall Street and across the country has been this laissez-faire attitude toward regulation. Was it philosophy? What caused them to just not do their job?

JD: Nobody ever came right out and said on the record “Jeb Bush appointed us and he’s not a big fan of government, so we didn’t do it.” One of the more telling things that one of the higher-ups at the agency told me; he said “Look, my whole career has been spent regulating guys in silk suits. These mortgage brokers, they’re not bankers. They have little storefronts. Those are guys in polyester suits.”

He said that, and that kind of summed it up for me. These were kind of white-shoe regulators, and the mortgage brokers were, you know…

TA: They didn’t want to get their fingernails dirty.

Read the entire interview here.


Audit Interview: Jack Dolan
Ryan Chittum
CJR, December 19, 2008 09:06 AM

Category: Financial Press, Legal, Regulation

Please use the comments to demonstrate your own ignorance, unfamiliarity with empirical data and lack of respect for scientific knowledge. Be sure to create straw men and argue against things I have neither said nor implied. If you could repeat previously discredited memes or steer the conversation into irrelevant, off topic discussions, it would be appreciated. Lastly, kindly forgo all civility in your discourse . . . you are, after all, anonymous.

10 Responses to “Audit Interview: Jack Dolan”

  1. GRV305 says:

    This is very different from the SEC-Madoff situation. Oh, wait

  2. Winston Munn says:

    If it doesn’t leave a stain it isn’t News – unnamed Fox spokesperson.

  3. AGG says:

    This isn’t hard. If it could be sold, they sold it. Morality or law or regulation never entered into it. I’m sure there are kick backs that go all the wayto Jebby. If they look hard enough, but of course they will stop before “important assholes” are implicated (and that will trigger another round of bribes). For the recalcitrant few loud mouths, cemment shoes will be ordered.

  4. Bruce in Tn says:

    Here is an interview that will curl your hair.

    50% chance of depression forecast

    Who are these NBER whiners anyway? I thought they only knew about RECESSIONS, not DEPRESSIONS…?

    I guess my only question is: If these folks are the ones to certify a depression, can it wait until, say 2010 before I find out?

    Now have a very nice day…

  5. karen says:

    Bruce, i wish you’d posted that last night when i needed to curl my hair for a party… seriously, though, let’s at least give the new administration a chance to provide a glimmer of integrity and a pragmatic plan. A little confidence could go a long way.

  6. DP says:

    What officially defines depression anyway? We had thought that recession was two consecutive quarters of negative GDP, but that turned out not to be the case.

  7. Bruce in Tn says:

    You are right, Karen, as usual…but my new word for 2009 is inertia..a wonderful word from the world of physics, but also applicable to the coordinated deleveraging going on now…actually inertia can be the tendency to become inactive or in physics to resist change. Both these definitions would probably apply to our economy here.

  8. karen says:

    Bruce, good word! I may end up embracing that word; but the moment, i’m very curious about the “shadow economy” that may become less transparent in the coming months.

  9. Dow says:

    Still find it fascinating that an ex-con could get licensed as a mortgage broker in Florida but can’t vote for President of the US in an election.

  10. Steve Barry says:

    Here is my major prediction for what is next…January and February will be “Hedge Fund Smoldering Crater Time”…you will see BREAKING NEWS updates every day on CNBC with another heedge fund blowing up and major name investors losing a lot of money.