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SEC Lists Financial Crisis Cases

Bruce Carton | November 4, 2011

Perhaps in response to ongoing criticism that regulators have done little to punish those responsible for the financial crisis, the SEC has begun compiling and publicizing a list of "SEC Enforcement Actions Related to the Financial Crisis." The SEC now provides a link to this list in the "Spotlight" section on the front page of its website. 

The SEC also provides some overall statistics about its efforts in this area. As of October 19 (when it filed the Citigroup case), the SEC has charged 81 different entities and individuals, including 39 CEOs, CFOS and other senior officers. In addition, the SEC says it has obtained 24 officer and director bars, industry bars or Commission suspensions. Total penalties, disgorgement and interest obtained by the agency in these cases total approximately $2 billion.

Ken Lench, who heads the Enforcement Division's structured and new products unit, told the Financial Times this week that he anticipates that “there will be a handful of additional cases, I believe, over the next several months” related to mortgage-linked securities. The FT stated that these cases could involve Merrill Lynch's sale of a $1.5bn CDO it created for hedge fund Magnetar, or perhaps rating firm Standard & Poor. S&P disclosed in late September 2011 that the SEC issued a Wells notice to the company concerning its rating of a 2007 collateralized debt offering.