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SEC Takes Action Against Latvian Hacker

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the latvia-lady-toniiight dept.

Crime 57

wiredmikey writes "The SEC has filed charges against a trader in Latvia for conducting a widespread online account intrusion scheme in which he manipulated the prices of more than 100 NYSE and Nasdaq securities by making unauthorized purchases or sales from hijacked brokerage accounts. The SEC also went after four online trading firms and eight executives who are said to have helped the hacker make more than $850,000 in ill-gotten funds. The SEC's actions occurred on the same day that the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) issued an investor alert and a regulatory notice about an increase in financially motivated attacks targeting email."

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Bravo SEC! (1)

Suki I (1546431) | more than 2 years ago | (#38863871)

Now, all of you other big smartie investor types, quit falling for phishing scams!

What a deterrent (4, Insightful)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 2 years ago | (#38863873)

Two of the associates working for two of the named firms agreed to settle for $35,000 each in fines.

And the SEC wonders why people keep doing this sort of thing. I bet those two guys (and many other not charged) walked away with millions.

I'll Take Your Wager (4, Interesting)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 2 years ago | (#38863903)

And the SEC wonders why people keep doing this sort of thing. I bet those two guys (and many other not charged) walked away with millions.

According to the court filing [sec.gov] :

Nagaicevs generated more than $850,000 in illegal profits from this scheme. His unauthorized trading in the hijacked accounts also caused losses in excess of $2 million which were reimbursed by the broker-dealer firms that carried the victimized customer accounts.

So how did the firms that the associates work for 'walk away with millions' when Nagaicevs got $850,000 and the total losses to the accounts was over $2 million? I'm guessing that since the firms that those associates worked for reimbursed those accounts that those two associates are facing some pretty upset employers. Is that really worth a couple hundred thousand?

Re:I'll Take Your Wager (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38865835)

Because they only caught this set of intrusions, not the others.

Re:What a deterrent (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38863907)

Yes. What a system we have. If people can milk it for this kind of money, we do not deserve to have it.

Re:What a deterrent (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38863909)

The guy who committed the fraud only made $850,000. How exactly do you make millions in brokerage off $850k in trade profits (yes, I know profitability of trades has no relation to brokerage, but this was a scam that presumably made a very high return). More reasonably, the firms involved made a few hundred thousand, tops, which they almost certainly had to forfeit, before any fines were levied. And the $35k was paid out of pocket by two individual brokers, and I'd guarantee it was more than they made off the scam. Not to mention they'll have an ethics hearing upcoming where they'll almost certainly lose their license for at least 5 years.

Re:What a deterrent (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38864061)

What irks them is that it's not other rich folks stealing from others, like it's been happening ever since the exchange was opened.

Besides, they guy's and idiot. First he doesn't have the skills not to get caught, and second, he chose targets that wouldn't try to deal with it quietly. An idiot.

Re:What a deterrent (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38864121)

Besides, they guy's and idiot.

Man, that is just an amazing fucking statement.

Re:What a deterrent (1)

DaveGod (703167) | more than 2 years ago | (#38867651)

Two of the associates working for two of the named firms agreed to settle for $35,000 each in fines.

And the SEC wonders why people keep doing this sort of thing. I bet those two guys (and many other not charged) walked away with millions.

I was of the understanding that the proceeds of crime were treated vaguely similar to that in the UK - basically the fine is what happens on top of the seizure of your ill-gotten gains, and anything else that can be linked to your crime.

The seizures are often (over here) separate from the court case where they are convicted. There was even a case on the news recently where people got their assets seized permanently even though they were not convicted. I gather the point was that it was difficult to prove they were actually guilty of the crime, but the money was clearly a result of crime even if they hadn't known it.

Sure, in terms of risk:reward it still doesn't look like much of a deterrent, but your post can be interpreted as suggesting they got fined and were still left with millions (though obviously there's no taking back what you've already spent on hookers and blow).

(naturally I couldn't be bothered reading a court filing to see if there was evidence of the above, this is the interwebs after all, but due to the separate process there usually isn't anyway)

More Details and GBX Stock Example (4, Informative)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 2 years ago | (#38863875)

It was really clear to me how he was precisely doing this for his own gain but here's a PDF of the 15 page court proceedings that goes into detail [sec.gov] (section B is the informative part). Essentially within one single trading day he would establish a long or short position through one of the unregistered trading firms. Then in that day he would gain illegal access and, if he had to, sell securities to beef up the cash in the account and then make trades that would cause his long or short to payoff. Then he'd pull it all out from the original account. He would often complete this cycle in 15 to 20 minutes and, as a result, he'd often be responsible for more than 50% of that stock's trading volume for that day. It's interesting, they go in to the details of a GBX stock and how the price changes are 10 to 50 cents (on ~$10 per stock).

Re:More Details and GBX Stock Example (1)

daktari (1983452) | more than 2 years ago | (#38864051)

Preventing manipulation of the market might very well be the reason that FINRA issued the advisory and would be taking this seriously. According to the article:

As of December 2011, the attempted fraud amounts total approximately $23 million; the actual victim losses are approximately $6 million.

$23 million in attempted fraud up until Dec 2011 seems like peanuts to me.

Re:More Details and GBX Stock Example (1)

dkf (304284) | more than 2 years ago | (#38864215)

As of December 2011, the attempted fraud amounts total approximately $23 million; the actual victim losses are approximately $6 million.

$23 million in attempted fraud up until Dec 2011 seems like peanuts to me.

Actual fraud of $6M isn't peanuts; people go to prison for a lot less. Sure, there might be even bigger fish about as well, but that doesn't make it any less important to pursue this case. Letting scum get away with it encourages them to commit greater villainy.

Re:More Details and GBX Stock Example (2)

daktari (1983452) | more than 2 years ago | (#38865253)

Remember that this figure includes all attempted fraud of this kind to date. Compare this to credit card fraud [wikipedia.org] :

The cost of card fraud in 2006 were 7 cents per 100 dollars worth of transactions (7 basis points). Due to the high volume of transactions this translates to billions of dollars. In 2006, fraud in the United Kingdom alone was estimated at £535 million, or US$750–830 million at prevailing 2006 exchange rates.

So, yes, $6m in actual cost to victims seems very low.

Never did I suggest letting unsavory individuals get away with their crimes. Merely suggesting that the powers that be might be more concerned with the market being played and causing much more damage than the obvious cost of siphoned funds to a few brokers.

1% are failing us again (-1, Troll)

karuna (187401) | more than 2 years ago | (#38863917)

Good job by a fellow Latvian. :) He was just taking back that was illegitimately taken from us in the global financial crises. Latvia has already suffered too much, GDP fell 30% and unemployment reached 20%. It is time to reverse this trend and help us, 99%.

Re:1% are failing us again (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38863979)

By stealing from people? Fuck off.

Re:1% are failing us again (4, Insightful)

JoshuaZ (1134087) | more than 2 years ago | (#38863989)

Absolutely not. This is criminal behavior. The vast majority of traders are law abiding citizens who are trying to make a living. They are necessary to allow for general market liquidity http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Market_liquidity [wikipedia.org] and for the world economy to function. In a general economic crisis, everyone is going to get hurt, and some countries more so than others. It is also pretty damn clear that he was't using this money to help little orphans or unemployed widows or what not. This was money that the criminal directed to himself. And much of the money in the stock market is in pension funds and the like for all sorts of companies, so draining money from the market ends up hurting all sorts of people who are about to retire and live on fixed incomes or people who have already retired and are stuck on tiny fixed incomes. This isn't Robin Hood, this is a thief taking advantage of regular people.

Re:1% are failing us again (0)

karuna (187401) | more than 2 years ago | (#38864289)

Doesn't mater if he is not a Robin Hood as long as he would be using at least of the money to purchase goods and products in Latvia which would help to restart Latvian economy.

Re:1% are failing us again (1)

JoshuaZ (1134087) | more than 2 years ago | (#38865643)

Yeah, see most of us aren't so nationalistic that we think that minor indirect help to our home country excuses stealing money from poor retirees.

Re:1% are failing us again (4, Interesting)

somersault (912633) | more than 2 years ago | (#38864075)

Yeah, I'm sure he was planning on giving you and all your friends 20 cents.

Have you actually checked your position on the global "rich list" [globalrichlist.com] ? You might actually be part of the 1%. I am, and I don't have anything to do with the finance market. I probably don't even make very much money compared to a lot of slashdotters, because I'm happy working in a small/medium business rather than being in a Fortune 500 or whatever.

Re:1% are failing us again (0)

karuna (187401) | more than 2 years ago | (#38864303)

In a way, yes. Latvian VAT rate is 22%, so even if he spends all his money on booze, it would be good for Latvians.

Re:1% are failing us again (1)

whatkey (2514316) | more than 2 years ago | (#38864323)

Interesting, but "the 1%" refers to US citizens, not the entire world. You're most likely not in the 1% (neither am I).

Re:1% are failing us again (0)

karuna (187401) | more than 2 years ago | (#38864463)

I wasn't even in 1% of the world. In fact, Latvia is somewhere in the middle on the world income scale. Not destitute but also not too good. But Latvia's income position has steadily declined during the last 20 years since the dissolution of the Soviet Union and brave acceptance of capitalism. The Soviet system was terrible but US dictated capitalism has not made as richer. In essence, it has merely increased income inequality or in other words, redistribution of wealth also know as stealing.

Re:1% are failing us again (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 2 years ago | (#38864683)

Hmm, well since you're in the middle, I guess you'd better stop "stealing" from poorer nations, eh? You shouldn't ever trade with other countries, because you're obviously just stealing their money (by your logic).

Re:1% are failing us again (1)

karuna (187401) | more than 2 years ago | (#38864993)

Just do whatever that leads to economic recovery and growth and more income equality.

But don't mix up morality with legality, please. When bankers engaged in reckless risk taking and bankrupted us all in the process, it is hard to find a law against them but morally they were thieves in the direct meaning of the word.

Re:1% are failing us again (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 2 years ago | (#38865235)

Why do people keep expecting economic "growth"? Growth in one place seems to me to imply shrinkage in another area.. which is exactly what you're complaining about!

Of course I haven't studied economics, so maybe that's not how "growth" works. But common sense dictates that it is..

"Income equality" is a load of bullshit unless everyone is doing the same work, in the same place. I don't complain that people doing the same job as me in London make more money - because their cost of living is also much higher than mine. It's the same when you look to different countries too, the cost of living makes a difference.

Yes, the bank loans stuff was stupid, but that was the reason for the apparent economic crash recently - not the 1% / 99% divide that people love to bandy on about.

Re:1% are failing us again (1)

karuna (187401) | more than 2 years ago | (#38866383)

I suggest you to learn about the world economy and what it means to have a growth. Economy is not a zero sum game except when it is.
It's the same when you look to different countries too, the cost of living makes a difference.

Absolutely not. If you want to compare taking into account the cost of living then use purchase parity by all means. On a national level you may be right but to say that some malnourished Somalians have approximately the same quality life as Londoners is nonsense.

The line diving 1% is arbitrary. It is not about some mystical qualities that divide them from us but that the fragile balance of democracy, power and wealth generation is broken and needs to be reestablished. It is not against people having more money but objection towards the system where wealthy have most of political power and use it unwisely, not for the benefit of the nation, what to speak about world's population.

Re:1% are failing us again (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 2 years ago | (#38864483)

So you're saying it's somehow bad when it's the relatively rich people in the US being "oppressed" by the 1%, but it's fine when we are doing the exact same thing on a global scale?

All I see are people bitching how unfair their lives are, while ignoring the 90% of people who have even less than themselves.

There are very, very few people in this world actively trying to oppress anyone. Most of this stuff just happens with no thought of malice. There will always be people who come out on top either through their own effort, or simple luck (location, family, etc).

Re:1% are failing us again (1)

karuna (187401) | more than 2 years ago | (#38864731)

Europe is now in a deflationary spiral due to clueless economists and politicians. Basically is because currently the richest people for various reasons choose to invest their money not where it gives the highest economic benefit and growth to the nation/country/world/etc., but where they can retain their relative superior position over others.

And don't think that the US can somehow avoid being affected by this. The globalization, you know.

Re:1% are failing us again (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 2 years ago | (#38864921)

The "for some reason" is that everyone works for their individual benefit, or at least that of those close to them. That's how life has always worked.

I'm not sure why you would expect those people to give up what they and their family have worked for any more than you'd let random homeless people sleep in your house for free every night.

Some rich people do give money to good causes, and that's nice, but there shouldn't be a law to force them to do so. They're already being taxed quite highly anyway.. so as long as they're not tax dodging, I don't have a problem with them having more money than me.

I'm not American btw, I'm Scottish.

Re:1% are failing us again (1)

karuna (187401) | more than 2 years ago | (#38865209)

Nope, "life always worked" is not how economy has ever worked since humans climbed from the trees and started to organize societies. It is all conscious intellectual construct. Some systems are better than others (capitalism vs. communism) but every one is created and continuously tinkered by careful deliberation.

I have no problem having some income inequality as long as it creates the most efficient system for growth. It is not happening at the moment. 20% unemployment in some parts of Europe is obscene. Unemployment among young people is almost 50% in certain areas. Something needs to be done and the richest people has the greatest power and possibility to rectify the situation. But as they are relatively wealthy they don't feel the pressure. They don't feel the pain of young people whose dreams are crushed by inability to find meaningless employment. It is the responsibility of us, 99% to exert pressure on them to do something.

Re:1% are failing us again (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 2 years ago | (#38865319)

Actually, yes, it is exactly how life works. Some species adapt better to their surroundings and dominate. Within social groups among animals, there is a pecking order. Those at the top get more mating opportunities, first dibs on food, etc..

Yes, most concepts in our society were made up by humans, which is why you need to think more carefully about them rather than just accept words like "growth".

Why do you expect that there should be 100% employment? Unless people start being used as personal servants or something, there may just not be enough jobs to go around. The obvious solution there is to stop having so many kids, rather than thinking that we can have infinite economic growth. Either that or you have to change society so that some people can just live without jobs (which already you can kind of do on government welfare).

Re:1% are failing us again (1)

karuna (187401) | more than 2 years ago | (#38866083)

No other species have done what humans have done. It makes any biologic comparison meaningless when discussing human culture, economy, science etc. It is one of the most basic logic fallacies called "Appeal to nature" - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Appeal_to_nature [wikipedia.org] ".

Re:1% are failing us again (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 2 years ago | (#38866319)

Okay, but to ignore the idea that our human nature naturally results in social and economic disparity is just as absurd.

Like I said, you can't at the same time ask for "growth" in your own nation without expecting someone else somewhere to lose out. Now, it wouldn't really hurt the rich to lose a bit of their money for that, but how are you going to decide who the money comes from, and who gets it? And how long do you think before those people have all your money again, if you don't actually change your spending habits? If you keep buying foreign goods, music, movies, software, clothes, TV shows, food etc, then the money will be flowing out of your country..

Re:1% are failing us again (1)

karuna (187401) | more than 2 years ago | (#38866663)

Like I said, you can't at the same time ask for "growth" in your own nation without expecting someone else somewhere to lose out.

Why not? Progress of science and technology can help us to produce more, to live better and have more wealth. In fact, improvement of technology goes very well together with greater social equality. A slave is not as effective worker as a well paid technician.

Global trade is good in theory. In practice it doesn't work too well in many cases because of asymmetric power. Rich countries can afford to influence trade in their favor and there are no world government that would not allow this.

Re:1% are failing us again (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 2 years ago | (#38866785)

Like I said, you can't at the same time ask for "growth" in your own nation without expecting someone else somewhere to lose out.

What absolute nonsense.

If the Mars Bar factory increases production by 10% and the Tennent's brewery by 15% the whole economy has grown (along with the waistlines of the locals).

Re:1% are failing us again (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 2 years ago | (#38867715)

Okay - so more money for Mars and Tennent's, and less money to whatever else people were spending their food money on.

I was imagining cases where you can "grow" the economy, but that doesn't seem like one of them. Growth definitely isn't infinitely sustainable, at least while we're limited to Earth's resources, and especially if the population keeps exploding, spreading those resources more thinly..

Re:1% are failing us again (1)

whatkey (2514316) | more than 2 years ago | (#38865257)

I'm not saying that, I think you misunderstood. I'm talking about that website (http://www.globalrichlist.com/index.php) and how it's essentially useless. Comparing my US salary to a salary in 2nd/3rd world countries is apples to oranges. It's ignoring basic economic differences such as cost of living and cost of goods/services (among many more).

Re:1% are failing us again (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 2 years ago | (#38865499)

Well partially, as I said elsewhere, I don't get worked up that people in London make more money than me for example.

It's not apples to oranges though - you could save up some money, then go and live like a king in the "2nd/3rd world". You really are a lot richer than them, even if you are eating the same amount of calories a day or whatever.

If you're upset that you're not making enough money, why don't you retrain for a job with a higher salary?

Re:1% are failing us again (1)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 2 years ago | (#38865505)

that stupid thing says: top 0.37% based on annual income. However income is not a good approximation of wealth, because it doesn't show all of the actual investments that are not necessarily paying dividends at the moment.

Re:1% are failing us again (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 2 years ago | (#38865679)

Well, it's not like those making below a certain threshold really have enough spare cash to make worthwhile investments anyway.. having spare cash for investments is the reason that once you get to the 1% stage, it's so easy to stay there and just keep accruing more wealth.

I'm at 0.89% as of last year, and I'm only just now thinking I should probably buy a house. I hate being in debt - even such a "socially acceptable" debt as a mortgage.

Re:1% are failing us again (1)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | more than 2 years ago | (#38864133)

So - - - next time I read of an American citizen raping some backwoods village or town for millions of dollars, causing the local citizens to become destitute, I should cheer for him because he's an American.

I don't know any Latvians personally. I can only hope that most Latvians are better people, and smarter, than you are.

Re:1% are failing us again (0)

karuna (187401) | more than 2 years ago | (#38864335)

That's exactly what I am saying that we should condemn American citizens raping the world only to make some Americans (1%) richer in the process.

Re:1% are failing us again (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38876289)

lol you come from some tiny, impoverished, third world eastern european country. that $850k that was stolen is probably equal to your entire national budget.

Was this guy trying to get caught? (2)

StoutFiles (2471680) | more than 2 years ago | (#38863927)

Any basic pattern matching would show that this guy always bought tons of shares and sold tons of shares right around the hacked account buying tons of shares. How could you be intelligent enough to pull this off but so dumb as to create an easily traceable pattern?

SEC is worthless (2)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 2 years ago | (#38863959)

So when are they going to investigate the actual definition [wikipedia.org] of a pump and dump scheme [slashdot.org] ran by NIA [inflation.us] , everything that they do, from Agria Corp (GRO) and Mega Precious Metals (MGP:CN) and now to Broadvision (BVSN) [yahoo.com] ? They had plenty of notifications on this, it doesn't bother them or are they in on it?

Re:SEC is worthless (1)

TrekkieGod (627867) | more than 2 years ago | (#38864185)

So when are they going to investigate the actual definition [wikipedia.org] of a pump and dump scheme [slashdot.org] ran by NIA [inflation.us] , everything that they do, from Agria Corp (GRO) and Mega Precious Metals (MGP:CN) and now to Broadvision (BVSN) [yahoo.com] ? They had plenty of notifications on this, it doesn't bother them or are they in on it?

I don't see absolutely anything wrong with Lebed did. He wasn't involved in any inside trading, and didn't have any more information on those companies than anybody else. He went on forums and bullshitted to get people to buy some stocks, but if you're buying stocks based on the advice of some dude in a forum without doing any of your own research...well, learn to take some responsibilities for your own actions and stop blaming others.

Re:SEC is worthless (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38864239)

If he's licensed and the information he gave is known to be incorrect, he violated the law. If he's licenses and gave information for the sole purpose of manipulating stock value, he violated the law.

Re:SEC is worthless (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38867169)

Amen. When hogs like Goldman-Sachs (GS) can long-sell worthless 'securities' to customers, without explaining the downside risk of those same investments--at the same time GS employees are short-selling the same securities for their own internal accounts; & letting Bernie Madoff bilk his clients of BILLIONS; while the SEC douch bags use government computers to look at porn sites ON COMPANY TIME--without being fired---yep...they are worthless. Your tax dollars at work!!

Where is the FBI? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38864161)

Why the fuck are they concentrating on arresting hostmasters in New Zealand when this kind of actual, real THEFT is happening?

If they can get New Zealand authorities to arrest over imaginary property, they can fucking get Latvian authorities to arrest over real money!

(And, in fact, I don't think they should be doing either; but if they're going to do either of them, chasing real money and real crimes should be the more important one.)

They at it again? (1)

Carnivore24 (467239) | more than 2 years ago | (#38864481)

Roarin' like a mouse, bitin' like a flea!

Pac-10 again playing catchup (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38865109)

Caught off-guard by the SEC's sudden action, the Pac-10 is now preparing suits against hackers in Lithuania and Estonia, which is likely to set off a chain of events that will leave the Big East foraging for hackers in Ghana and Ivory Coast.

I blame the country's leadership. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38865265)

All shall crumble before the power of DOOM.

Screw the SEC! (1)

blackbeak (1227080) | more than 2 years ago | (#38865659)

Oh, wow am I not impressed. They investigate, and nab, a hacker who caused a loss under a million bucks, while remaining virtually asleep at the wheel as SEC associates, flash traders, big time insiders and other "better positioned" criminal psychopaths virtually decimate our economy.

Read that as Latverian hacker (1)

NiceGeek (126629) | more than 2 years ago | (#38869917)

...and thought Doc Doom had really fallen on hard times.

I dont get trading (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38870203)

Why is it allowed at all. And how is it good for me ?

Somebody is making goods and selling them - OK.
Somebody needs goods and is paying for them - OK
Somebody stores goods and transports them - OK
Somebody has shop - where people can come and buy goods in small quantities - OK

And now - Somebody does not need goods, does not have ability to store it.Somebody only needs money.
He is playing a game with goods - buying and selling. Does not even know where goods are, and how goods are made, and what goods are for.
He is simply trying to get money from other people work.

How can this be good for me ?

The SEC is a sham (1)

Required Snark (1702878) | about 2 years ago | (#38879041)

The SEC is a meaningless dog and pony show that is deliberately intended to as little as possible. It's goal is to give the illusion of oversight without interfering with the ability of the big inside players to steal as much money as they can get away with. Examples:

Madoff. One word suffices. He was detected a decade before he finally took himself down, and the SEC went out of their way to not investigate. Why? Because he was an insider. The only reason he was caught was that the market went down, and his investors started needing their money. The SEC only got wise after it was far too late.

Enron. Again, only one word is needed. They were cooking the books for many years before they folded. Once again the SEC was asleep at the switch, and only found out when it was far too late.

Long Term Capital Management. Not as well known as the others, and somewhat earlier, it was the prototype of the modern trading failure and bailout. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Long_term_capital_management [wikipedia.org] They got in way over their head with too much leverage and had to be bailed out by the US government. No lessons were learned.

The current world wide recession/depression. The greed and stupidity of Wall Street is at least as great as it was before the depression of the 1930's. All of the structures put in place as a result were negated, and the SEC led the way. Harvey Pitt http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harvey_Pitt#Criticism [wikipedia.org] Donaldson http://mobile.businessweek.com/magazine/destruction-at-the-sec-09012011.html [businessweek.com] and Cox http://seekingalpha.com/article/96487-5-failures-of-sec-chairman-cox [seekingalpha.com] all sat around with their thumbs in their butts while the biggest fraud in the history of the world was in progress. They all had their marching orders, which was to do absolutely nothing to rock the boat, and they did exactly what they were told.

(Not that the SEC is doing a better job at the current time. The current focus on insider trading is like writing parking tickets while a riot is in progress. It is a deliberate attempt to avoid the big picture and look busy while the economy sinks.)

It would be better if no one at the SEC went in to work. They should all just stay home and collect their pay and do nothing. Then there would be no pretense that there was anyone protecting investors, which is the true situation. Wall Street has one purpose these days, which is to funnel as much money as is humanly possible into the hands of insiders. The upper management steals from their clients, their investors and their workers. A deaf, mute, blind and toothless SEC is just one medium sized cog in the mechanism that enables the massive ongoing looting of the US and world economy.

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