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Web Watch: Best of the Week Ending Feb. 12

Bruce Carton | February 12, 2010

binoculars230x184Throughout the week over at Securities Docket, I highlight the most interesting columns and blog posts from around the web (on the subjects of SEC enforcement and securities litigation). Here is a digest of my picks for the week ending February 12:

SEC REMEDIES: Time for a Reassessment (Tom Gorman, SEC Actions)
SEC Actions | February 12, 2010
Commissioner Louis Aguilar, in remarks at SEC Speaks last Friday, called for a revamping of the Commission's 2006 Statement on Corporate Penalties, discussed here. While Commissioner Aguilar makes a good point, any reassessment should begin with a careful undertaking in the broader context of evaluating all of the SEC's remedies as part of a comprehensive program, not just corporate penalties.

S.E.C. Enforcers Focus on Avoiding Madoff Repeat (Jenny Anderson and Zachery Kouwe, NYT)
The New York Times | February 12, 2010
Bernard L. Madoff haunts these corridors like the He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named of Wall Street.

In the headquarters of the Securities and Exchange Commission, Mr. Madoff's name is rarely spoken. More than seven months after he was sentenced to prison for orchestrating a global Ponzi scheme, shaken S.E.C. employees are still struggling to come to grips with how they failed to catch him before it was too late.

A serious settlement (Katy Dowell, The Lawyer)
The Lawyer | February 10, 2010
The Serious Fraud Office's decision to settle its investigation into arms maker BAE Systems highlights significant disparities between how corporate fraud is dealt with in the UK and US.

In the US, the company agreed to pay a $400m (255.5m) fine and pled guilty to one charge of conspiracy to make false statements to the Government. Compare that with the UK where the company agreed to plead guilty of failing to keep "reasonably accurate accounting records" in relation to its sale of a radar system to Tanzania and agreed to pay 30m.

As FBI Videotaped, FCPA Defendants Toasted Their Success (Christopher M. Matthews, Main Justice)
Main Justice | February 8, 2010
Last October, a large group of executives in the defense products industry gathered in bustling Clyde's restaurant in downtown Washington, D.C., for a celebratory business meeting. They came from all corners of the United States and as far away as Israel and the United Kingdom. Some of them knew each other. Others had just met. But none of them realized the meeting was being videotaped by the FBI.

Once Again, Seeing the Shadow of Madoff (Peter Henning, DealBook)
DealBook | February 8, 2010
Like the brief appearance of Punxsutawney Phil on Groundhog Day, the fallout from the enormous Ponzi scheme perpetrated by Bernard L. Madoff occasionally pops to the surface, only to recede again into the shadows, perhaps until spring arrives. Last week, legal action in different courtrooms highlighted how slowly the government's investigation of wrongdoing by others who operated near Mr. Madoff is progressing and indicated that there may not be much more to come in the way of enforcement actions.