Thursday, 7 May 2009

Scoring the SEC

The WSJ reminds us that despite the SEC's lamentable record, US regulatory reforms seems as far off as ever. How badly did they do? Here's my assessment.
  • Supervisor of investment banks: 0/5. There are none left. That really does tell you all you need to know.
  • Market supervisor: 2/5. Rule SHO didn't stop naked shorts, and the SEC's record dealing with market abuse and insider trading is not wonderful. Nevertheless, they have sometimes acted prudently in the equity markets in the past.
  • Information gatherer: 4/5. Edgar is very useful, and Idea seems like it will be even better.
  • Hedge fund regulator: 1/5. They could have found Madoff in 2002.
It seems to me, then, that the SEC is a great website with a deeply flawed supervisor bolted on the side. So why hasn't Geithner done anything?

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