Last week at the CNBC Institutional Investor Delivering Alpha conference, CNBC's Jim Cramer conducted an interesting and entertaining interview with Preet Bharara, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York. The interview focused on the efforts by Bharara and his office against insider trading, and produced some notable and humorous remarks from Bharara.
Highlights from Bharara's conversation with Cramer included:
- "Let me also say that I know that you told me there were going to be a lot of people here from the hedge fund industry and other folks. I didn't quite appreciate how many people, so I just want to apologize in advance that I don't have enough subpoenas for all of you.... Obviously, I'm kidding. I do have enough."
- "And just to be clear, we brought 71 cases, and we have 65 convictions, and six are still pending. It's disheartening to have the level of insider trading that we have now proven beyond a reasonable doubt in dozens and dozens of cases, for a lot of reasons.... It's especially disheartening, given the variety of cases that not only have been brought by my office, but other U.S. Attorney's offices around the country, that it's not limited to one industry; it's not limited to one type of person; it's not limited to one area of geography. You have it in the pharmaceutical industry, you have it in the hedge fund industry, you have it in the technology industry, you have it in the healthcare industry."
- "...[t]here are literally people who are developing networks of sources, so that if they don't get the information from one source at a particular tech company, they might get it from another source. And if they can't get it from that source, they have a stable of other sources from sometimes places that are called 'expert networking firms.'"
- "And if people say to us, "We don't understand what you're talking about; you don't understand what business is about," we say, "Well, prove us wrong.” Because you know what? Cheating is cheating, and lying is lying, and whether it's masked behind 17 pages of PowerPoint presentations about why this particular tax shelter is okay, at the end of the day I think our folks and our investigators and the FBI and the SEC are smart enough to see through them."
- "I see over, over and over again, very smart people and very smart lawyers who are good and well-intentioned and have integrity and are ethical and they ask the wrong question. They say: How much time should we be spending on compliance issues? I don't know. As long as is required."
You can read read a transcript of the interview here, and watch a video excerpt from it below.