Some argued at the time penalties were authorized that this would corrupt the enforcement process. They argued that large firms would embrace penalties as an alternative to the much more draconian remedy that allows the SEC to revoke or suspend the registration of a regulated entity (brokers, dealers, exchanges, investment advisers, investment companies). The skeptics argued that SEC staff and commissioners would become enamored of preening at press conferences announcing mega-million dollar settlements and that penalties would become merely a cost of doing business for big regulated firms. Unfortunately it seems those skeptics were correct and the prospect of penalty-focused SEC sanctions has ceased to be effective.
‘Enforcement 40’ for 2020
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