SEC’s Schapiro says journalist job cuts worrying

April 29, 2009

Mary Schapiro, America’s new top cop for the securities industry, said the current mass culling of journalists’ jobs is a concern because it could reduce the number of leads that regulators get as they seek to crack down on nefarious behavior.

“It’s an absolute worry for me because I think financial journalists have in many cases been the sources of some really important enforcement cases and really important discovery of practices and products that regulators should be profoundly concerned about,” the chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission told the Reuters Global Financial Regulation Summit in Washington on Tuesday.

“But for journalists having been dogged and determined and really pursuing some of these things, they might not be known to the regulators or they might not be known for a long time,” she said.

But Schapiro, who was speaking a day after Conde Nast announced the closure of its glossy business magazine Portfolio only about two years after it launched, held out some hope for the business reporting trade. She said that some journalists should consider applying for jobs at the SEC.

“Investigative journalism actually would be a pretty interesting skill set for us to have. We’ve talked about financial analysis, we’ve talked about forensic accounting being skill sets that we really need — understanding of complex trading, strategies and systems, but it’s one of the things the SEC has to do. It has to really broaden its horizons and bring in people who think about things a little differently than it has historically.”

But what would having Mr/Ms Investigative Journalist working there do for the SEC’s tarnished media image? And how would a hard-nosed investigative journalist respond to all those agreements to let some of the bad guys off with a rap over the knuckles and a small fine (those infamous “did not admit or deny” settlements)?


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Journalists keep corporations and goverment in check. Lately many journalists have been replaced by bloggers.

It’s very hard to trust anything Mary Shapiro says: She was top SEC Commissioner since 1998,the top cop at Wall Street, later became also top cop at FINRA and all the while she was a Director of the Board of Kraft-Nabisco and Duke Energy, making 500.000 a year in each, and Kraft is the biggest junk-food pusher in America and the World, how can anyone that sells junk foods to children be trusted? I don’t at all , ever !!! she was all these years watching how her Wall Street friends at Bear Stearns, Merrill,Lehman and Goldman Sachs, etc. were making billions of dollars in bonuses and fees selling Swaps and Derivatives , and she said , just like her friend Robert Rubin, that she did not know anything about Credit- Default-Swaps until the Press talked about them a few months ago, that’s impossible for the top cop on Wall Street to say !!! the Stret was pushing trillions of dollars and making billions of dollars in profits, it was the biggest financial product on the Market since A.I.G. started pushing them in 1999 under CEO Maurice Greenberg and Frenklel , ex-chairman of the Central Bank of Israel, how can they say they did not know what the Street was selling ?

Posted by financial | Report as abusive

The problem the SEC would face in hiring investigative journalists is that information would come from the hedge funds who have been feeding these journalists all along. Don’t think for a minute any investigative work is ever done by these guys.

Posted by Patchie | Report as abusive

Our ruling class wants watchdog journalism dead. It is that simple.

Posted by Yonder Hero | Report as abusive

This is a perfect example of why corporations have such a hard time adopting social media.

Too many are corrupt and can’t risk letting the genie out of the bottle.

The police should never investigate themselves.