Robert Khuzami: Master distracter

January 17, 2013

I blogged recently in support of Columbia Law professor John Coffee’s proposal for the SEC to hire outside expert attorneys to prosecute complex cases. He called the performance of the current SEC enforcement division lackluster, and wrote that it is “an overworked, underfunded agency that is subject to severe resource constraints.”

Should the SEC hire bounty-hunters?

January 4, 2013

The majority of pundits and market observers have only tuned into the effectiveness of the SEC as financial market regulator since 2008, when the financial system nearly collapsed. So far, criticism has been relatively shallow. But when one of the most influential securities attorneys in America, Columbia University’s John Coffee, weighs in on the effectiveness of the SEC’s enforcement actions, we should all take note. Coffee’s SEC biography gives some background on his preeminence:

The SEC rounds up muniland’s bad guys

December 20, 2012

The SEC – the top law enforcer for muniland – has been riding the range. With 17 municipal securities enforcement actions in 2012, the SEC cops have come up with a nice collection of scalps.

Sallie Krawcheck should not run the SEC

November 29, 2012

The New York Times reported on Wednesday that Sallie Krawcheck, formerly of Citi and Bank of America, is the leading contender to be named chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission. Let’s hope that President Obama comes to his senses and names someone more fit to the post. From the Times:

Pay to play beyond Goldman Sachs

September 28, 2012

The SEC caught a big fish in muniland that was clearly breaking the “paytoplay” rules. Pay-to-play is when municipal bond underwriters give contributions to politicians to win underwriting business. Reuters has the story:

Make way for new muniland disclosure and market structure

August 1, 2012

The SEC released its long-awaited report on muniland disclosure and price transparency yesterday. Ten years from now, every retail investor will want to say a word of thanks to Commissioner Elisse Walter, even if only half her recommendations on transparency and investor protection are implemented. Unfortunately, her term as SEC commissioner expires June 5, 2013, which leaves her less than a year to get the ball rolling on her proposals.

Congress should protect municipalities from bad advice

July 25, 2012

Municipal advisers, those muniland professionals who are hired by public officials to evaluate their needs for financing and guide them through the underwriting process, don’t receive enough attention. Generally, they are paid by a government entity but also receive fees from the banks who underwrite the deals. Dodd-Frank set out to restrain potential conflicts in this space by requiring municipal advisers to register as such and imposing a fiduciary duty on their activities.

Matt Taibbi and the muniland mafia

June 25, 2012

Matt Taibbi, a contributing editor at Rolling Stone, talks to radio personality Don Imus about municipal bid-rigging.

JPMorgan fails to disclose

June 15, 2012

Charlie Gasparino of Fox Business News seems to have scooped a muniland story yesterday when he reported that JPMorgan had failed to include material facts in a municipal bond offering on which it was the lead underwriter.

Muniland’s huge Dodd-Frank win

May 8, 2012

A huge win for muniland was finalized last week when the SEC approved new rules that will shine light on the municipal bond underwriting process. This Bloomberg headline says it all: “Bond-Disclosure Rules Backed by SEC to Protect States From Banks”: