Wall Street firms continue to look at SEC settlements as the cost of doing business.

Despite promises to not repeat the same law, they seem to run afoul again and again.

Here is the NYT analysis of Securities and Exchange Commission documents showing 51 repeat violations  since 1996 by a handful of firms.

Bank of America and Citigroup are tied for the lead (six repeat violations), while Merrill Lynch and UBS share 3rd and 4th place (five apiece).

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Source: Wall Street’s Repeat Violations, Despite Repeated Promises
NYT, November 2011

Category: Legal, Really, really bad calls

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.

20 Responses to “Wall Street’s Recidivists”

  1. JohnathanStein says:

    So, over half-a-hundred violations, not counting MF Global.

    How many would have been prevented by fear-of-prosecution — had there been any?

  2. A says:

    This ties in nicely with the recent 60 minutes segment on Sunday.

    The high level question is this: when the White House, Congress and Justice Dept can be as corrupt as their owners (Wall Street), the people who fund their campaigns, how on earth can we ever expect any justice.

  3. constantnormal says:

    I don’t believe that the Chinese have this many white collar crime repeat offenders … perhaps we could outsource the operation of our securities regulators to the Chinese?

    It would save us a lot of money, replacing agencies that do little with harder-working ones that cost a fraction of what we are spending on bad government today … surely the Repooblicans would support THAT …

  4. wunsacon says:

    3 strikes — you’re out! Lose your corporate charter.

  5. Kekepana says:

    B of A, Citigroup, Merrill and UBS. Sounds like the beginning of a list of where to pull your accounts.

  6. Moe says:

    Not only are they now citizens, but with extra-special legal immunity as well…

  7. Petey Wheatstraw says:

    Apparently the penalty for these crooks is governmentally guaranteed profit margins.

  8. victor says:

    Their upper management have been routinely fully punished with community service at modest, insignificant positions over at Treasury such as: Secretary of Treasury, Deputy Secretary of the Treasury, Treasurer of the United States , Under Secretary for Domestic Finance , Assistant Secretary for Financial Institutions, etc.

  9. John says:

    Among many other changes to financial reports, how about a required line item for Legal Fines and Settlements? As with any other line item, investors can then compare relative sizes and trends to discern outliers.

  10. AtlasRocked says:

    Does anyone think it’s strange the fed loaned out $7.7 trillion but it was not evident on any of the recipients’ books? Was it?

    If it was not, why wasn’t it? Weren’t their books in violation of accounting standards? Did the SEC go along with this?

    Was this a true, giant, conspiracy, or were all the loans visible on all the borrowers’ books, and in keeping with Sar-Ox?

  11. AtlasRocked says:

    Instead of the OWS folks protesting about the 1% pushing for fines instead of jail time over these violations, why isn’t OWS marching on DC, Tea Party style, and demanding prosecutions?

    Why isn’t anyone asking this question? Tons of people push the gov’t to not be prosecuted in courts every day, but the gov’t still prosecutes and jails people all the time. Nobody complains that someone argued for leniency in court, it’s what defendants do all the time. The people get upset with the government if they let the crooks go, right?

    Why aren’t the OWS demanding prosecutions and holding the political leadership in blame?

  12. Giovanni says:

    @victor: funny and yet sadly true.

  13. Expat says:

    I assume that continual avoidance of criminal prosecution (charges against the bank itself results in fines and no admission of criminal guilt) is to avoid RICO. If regulatory authorities pushed for criminal convictions, the FBI would eventually be forced to step in and seize all assets of the banks just like they do for the Mob or a drug dealer.

    It’s time for a turn of the wheel.

  14. AtlasRocked says:

    @victor: Nothing but net on that shot.

  15. AtlasRocked says:

    @Expat: BINGO. RICO.

    Crooks are bad people, we know that. Nobody needs to hold a protest to say crooks are bad, right?

    Crooks argue in court for leniency, we know that. It is part of our court system to let defendents argue for leniency, right?

    But when crooks don’t got to jail, people should blame the prosecuters, not the crooks. We have 60 Minutes reporting last Sunday the crooks have been identified and documented.

    Why isn’t Obama summoning Eric Holder into his office, telling him to prepare prosecutions, and start telling him to start signing arrest warrants? Why isn’t that lack of a phone call getting people camped out in front of the White House?

  16. krice2001 says:

    @ Atlas
    I believe the OWS folks are protesting exactly what you want them to. What they realize is that our Legislators (and administrations (plural intended) are bought and paid for by these wealthy bad actors. That’s what the now allowed unlimited contributions buys you. Influence and immunity.

    Sure, other crooks want to buy immunity and get the best defense possible, but they don’t have the money that Wall Street and other giant non-financial multinationals have. And with THAT level of money you really do buy the influence you need. The OWS people get that and are protesting the masters, rather than the puppets.

  17. AtlasRocked says:

    @krice2001: If they are bought by Wall Street, then what about Bush I and Bill Black putting 800 in jail?

    Hasn’t big money always been in Washington? Isn’t that why campaign finance reform was started back in the 70s?

    You didn’t answer the question: Why aren’t the citizens, the OWS occupiers, pushing Obama to pick up the phone, call Holder, and prepare indictments? Krice2001, you claimed victimhood and left Obama and Holder and Wall street with, literally, a “get out of jail free” card, didn’t you?

    Politicians aren’t this nation’s problem. 1% isn’t the problem. Citizens demanding accountability and enforcement of laws is our problem.

    All this could be cleared up with a phone call from THE MAN that is supposed to be in charge. When will you realize that YOU are allowing him to be bought? That YOU are making excuses for him? He’s got you your nationalized health care, so you now allow him to be a partner in crime, haven’t you? You’re bribed worse than the politicians, bro.

  18. Greg0658 says:

    with all due respect .. what part of TBTForm a successful and then relitigated in appeals court do you not understand

    which is it – just bend over and respond to “balls or ass ?”

    seriously its messed up .. printed safety for some / bankruptcy for the 99%
    (not quite 99% is it) more like 20% are the loosers which is why this is still palpable

  19. tyghoneon says:

    Obviously the price of doing business is less than than the profit resulting from the illegal action. We need to raise the bar: second fine is double the first…3rd double the second…&tc. Only when the penalties exceed the profits from greed will it stop.

  20. [...] It reinforces criminal behavior: Once again crooked bankers would go unpunished. That would guarantee they’ll commit these kinds of crimes again and again, knowing they’ll never pay for it with their time or their money. Thanks to other soft deals like this one, big bank executives have already promised to stop their crimes (while “neither admitting nor denying wrongdoing”) — and then repeated them again and again, 51 times! [...]