Wednesday, February 23, 2011

For the S.E.C., Problems of Time and Money

Via Peter Henning @ White Collar Watch. 
In 2003, the S.E.C.’s enforcement program was under attack from Wall Street, which complained that overregulation and too much enforcement hampered the effectiveness of American markets in competition with financial centers in London and Asia. The S.E.C., like other agencies involved in the investigation and prosecution of white-collar crimes, received fewer resources to work with as the federal government ramped up its spending on antiterrorism programs.
It is not surprising that a case involving options backdating in that time period would be de-emphasized, at least before the practice gained the national attention in March 2006 when The Wall Street Journal began publishing a series of articles titled “The Perfect Payday” that outlined the huge gains that some executives reaped from backdating. As accounting cases went, it did not look anything like the types of frauds that occurred at companies like Enron and WorldCom, which were the S.E.C.’s primary focus at that time.
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