LETTERS TO SANTA: WHAT KEY SECURITIES MARKET PLAYERS WANT
“’Twas the night before Christmas and all through the house, not a creature was stirring . . .” Well, almost. Some of the key players in the securities markets apparently couldn’t sleep for worry of what Santa might not bring them. Knowing what they want might give some insight into next year. Nobody is talking, however. Santa is citing his usual “no comment” policy. The elves are hustling about filling the sled. And, the reindeer are busy getting fortified for a long night – they are eating.
There is one source however, that might have insight into what the key players want. While everyone was busy reading all those state department cables, WikiLeaks somehow got into the North Pole mail room and released some excerpts from letters written to Santa which suggest where things might be going next year in the securities markets:
“. . . yes I know we got all this new authority and we are busy writing rule after rule, but now with this Dodd-Frank legislation we have to write dozens and dozens more rules. I told those lawmakers I need 800 new staff members, but our funding is all tied up. Santa what I need is self- funding. I promise if I can have that we will write more rules and do more studies than anyone . . . .” SEC Chairman Mary Schapiro
“. . . I know I promised you and everyone last year that I would get the OTC derivatives markets under control and I will. This new Dodd-Frank Act is just the thing. But I am running a small shop Santa (you know the feeling) and I need time. If you could just add a few magic drops of patience potion (sort of like “love potion number 9,” but for patience) to the water supply on Capital Hill I would be very appreciative . . . .” CFTC Chairman Gary Gensler
“. . . and Santa that blockbuster case against Goldman Sachs – imagine, the icon of Wall Street (wow!) – was great, but here is the thing. With this 24/7 news cycle you have heard the President talk I need more to show that my new program is working. My investigators are working hard sorting through the alphabet soup those Wall Street guys created what with a CDO here and CDS there and all that other stuff and we are close to some blockbuster market crisis cases. With just a little help we can bring those cases and establish the program, so just a little help Santa . . . .” SEC Enforcement Director Rob Khuzami
“. . . that OCED report was just great Santa and some of those cases that you helped us with this year were just the thing. But I have just got to keep getting bigger and bigger corporate settlements and despite working really hard I have not been able to top that huge Siemens case in 2009. So if you could just bring me one (or maybe two) corporate settlements that are bigger that in the past – and it would help if at least one is against a pharmaceutical company since my boss promised one of those, but any company will do . . . .” Chief, DOJ’s Fraud Section Denis MacInerney
“. . . I am on a roll Santa, with all these new cases and all this great publicity and I am convinced that we can clean up Wall Street and all these gabby guys passing around all that corporate information if you could just bring me a few more CWs, you know ‘confidential witnesses . . . .” U.S. Attorney, S.D.N.Y. Preet Bharara
“ . . . remember Santa I told you last year that I was going to stamp out financial fraud and now I am on my way. I announced a new task force to bring all the financial fraud cases from across the country right here in my home court but now I could use a little help on just how to win those very complicated and difficult cases on the extra speedy rocket docket . . . >” U.S. Attorney, E.D. Va. Neil MacBride
“. . . We just really need one thing Santa and it would really help the SEC and it would really help the markets and we have been trying to get it for years, but those guys on Capital Hill just won’t do it. So maybe this year you could have the elves put an amendment in one of those big military spending bills the republicans like and add aiding and abetting for private securities fraud plaintiffs . . . >” Plaintiff’s securities class action bar
“. . . this FCPA enforcement program is going to drive every company out of the U.S. Santa and then where will the country be? No jobs that is where! Everybody is in favor of stopping bribery but maybe you could get Congress to just give us a compliance program defense . . . .” U.S. Chamber of Commerce
“. . . it’s not much to ask Santa. Really we learned our lesson and now we have cleaned up our act and we can effectively police things and bring jobs and profits to everyone. REALLY! So if you could just get Rob Khuzami to go back to private practice and get Andrew Cuomo to the governor’s office . . . .” The Wall Street Banks
Soon everyone will see if Santa brings these key securities market players what they asked to have put in their stockings.