FRAGMENTS OF LETTERS TO SANTA
It was the night before Christmas â€“ well almost â€“ and all the Wall Street players were tucked in their beds. Each was dreaming of what Santa might bring when he slides down the chimney and fills their stocking. Each had written Santa about how good they were and what the jolly old man could bring as a reward.
Santa of course never tells what is in the thousands of letters he receives each year. The Santa â€“ recipient privilege is the best! Since knowing what Santa might bring could give a glimpse of next year, many are looking for insights. Those may be available from some elves who moonlighted in Washington last summer and learned about â€œleaksâ€ and â€œunnamed sources.â€ Those elves met late last night and made available a few fragments of letters from Wall Street players:
I have been really good this year â€“ and I mean really good. I wrote more rules than anyone could have imagined. We now have a rule for everything, anything and a couple for nothing. There are so many my enforcement director created a new specialty group devoted just to enforcing them. It is the â€œnew rulesâ€ group. And, to be extra good I made sure they are printed on both sides of the page on 100% recycled paper!!! Now I just have one small request — just twelve months with no scandals. This is not for me. It is for my spin staff. They have done a great job. Just look at that Rakoff thing. A potential PR debacle. Just as it broke however they released that letter to Congress about bigger penalties. The media jumped right on it, although you and I both know it had nothing to do with Rakoff. But the spin staff needs a break Santa so please, just one scandal free year. Your biggest fan. Mary Schapiro, SEC Chairman.
. . . and Santa I have been very good. I brought more enforcement actions than anyone. How good is that!!! That reorganization you brought me is doing the job. I just need one little thing this year Santa. You know that wheel in the clerkâ€™s office in the Southern District of New York? As it goes around could you have one of the elves put his thumb on it so it goes by Judge Rakoff? I know, I know you do not usually rig the game but gee, this Judge is well . . . it is been difficult. So please, just a little help here. Your friend, Rob Khuzami, Director, SEC Enforcement Division.
. . . . I have supported the boss 110%, just what a deputy does Santa. Now I am moving on to a big new job in the U.S. Attorneyâ€™s Office in Manhattan. I really do appreciate your help with that!! But here is the thing. This new job, well my predecessor has done everything. He caught the biggest of the big insider traders. I canâ€™t figure out how I am going to do better. I thought about wire taps but they already bugged every trader on Wall Street! So maybe you could just point me in the direction of the next headline grabbing Wall Street scandal so I can stomp it out. I know you have great insights and this would be a good thing because I can help clean up that nasty Wall Street place. Thanks Santa, I know you will help me out. Lorin Reisner, former Deputy Director, SEC Enforcement, about to be Chief, Securities and Commodities Fraud Section, U.S. Attorneyâ€™s Office, Southern District of New York.
What you brought me last year was just great. You got me everything I asked for and more. Now I have jurisdiction over every derivative those guys on Wall Street create. I have just one request for this year â€“ STAFF!!! I need someone to write the rules and enforce them. You know when I was at Goldman this was easy. I could make people work all night and all weekend and then send them home in a fancy car service cars and on vacation on Net Jets. But this is the government. I canâ€™t do that. Last time my staff went to New York they had to ride the buss (Imagine those guys at Goldman doing that!). I need some help here Santa so please, a few new staff members!! Your best friend, Gary Gensler, Chairman, CFTC.
. . .. and yes we are doing just fine. We wanted profits and you helped us get them. We donâ€™t quite know what the elves but it worked and we appreciate it. Just one little thing Santa â€“ could you get the SEC to stop writing rules, even for just a few hours. Sure that loophole kit you gave us last year is working great. Not only have we created loopholes, we even have loopholes in the loopholes! But still, we are having trouble keeping up. Please, just a few hours off. Devotedly yours, The Wall Street Bankers Association.
And, so with visions of full stockings dancing in their heads, all the players on Wall Street fell fast asleep in their beds. Good nite to all!!