Thursday, September 23, 2010
The Senate unanimously passed S.3171 that would repeal a FOIA exemption for records obtained by the SEC during its surveillance, risk assessment, regulatory or other duties. A companion bill has been referred to the House Oversight and Financial Services Committee. The exemption was contained in Dodd-Frank 9291, but has been criticized for its breadth. SEC Chair warns that the legislation could weaken the effectiveness of the examinations process.
Meanwhile, the SEC was the subject of substantial criticism yesterday by Senators on the Banking Committee at a hearing on the SEC Inspector General's Report on the SEC's handling of the Stanford matter. Criticisms involved not only the agency's failure to uncover the alleged Stanford ponzi scheme sooner, but also more generally the failure of enforcement to hold individuals and firms accountable for the financial crisis. The SEC Inspector General also testified that the timing of the SEC's enforcement action against Goldman Sachs last spring was suspicious, as it coincided with the Inspector General's critical report on Stanford. WSJ, SEC Blasted on Goldman.