Letters to Santa

It’s the night before Christmas and all the securities market players are snug in their beds with dreams of what Santa might bring. Santa never tells what is in all those letters he gets every year. But some of the Elves who spent last summer in Washington have seen the ways of the politicians with “trial balloons” and “deep background” interviews. So from reliable sources which are unidentified because they were not authorized to speak comes segments from letters to Santa which might suggest the way of things to come:

  • Dear Santa . . . You know I was hoping to be Chairman. After all, I have worked in this business for years . . . but now what? I mean really who knew that when Mary resigned everyone would go? I’m nice! They could stay! I mean, it is bad enough that there are only four Commissioners so everything is a potential tie vote meaning we do nothing. But almost no division directors!!?? There will not be anything to vote on . . . please Santa, just a couple of Division Directors? Your best friend, SEC Chairman Elise Walter.
  • . . . Santa I have been very good . . . and I used all those things you brought me the last couple of years . . . that reorganization kit was just great, and those new cooperation initiatives you borrowed from the Justice Department — wow – those got everyone talking . . . and all those cases! (By the way why is that secactions guy counting my cases – what’s he up to??). But, well, I need just a little help . . . those rumors I started about me becoming Chairman are not working . . . so if you could just get the elves to percolate them up to the White House . . . I know the President has this “cliff” thing but the SEC is important. Just a little help here Santa . . . your friend Robert Khuzami.
  • I don’t need much this year Santa . . . you have been really good to me over the years . . . .just one little thing and it is not even for me, well not exactly. It is for those judges on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals – a word search program pre-programmed to find the phrase “mandatory position limits” in that Dodd-Frank bill you brought me a while back. (I know those words are there but a little help is always good, I mean that District Court judge couldn’t find them). Then they can reverse the ruling striking down my position limits rule . . . your friend CFTC Chairman Gary Gensler
  • Dear Santa, It’s been a very tough year . . . my lobby group is working overtime and near collapse. And, the PR department, well they are frazzled . . . still nobody likes us and everyone wants us in jail . . . and after all we have done for them, I don’t get it! … But anyway, what I need is not just for me but also for my colleagues — could you get the elves to help us kill that Volker Rule stuff . . . I mean really, we spent years getting rid of that . . . and if you do, I promise we will not run up any billion dollar trading losses by hedging the entire bank . . . we will be good and trade carefully, I promise, I promise . . . your friend, Jamie Diamond, Chairman JP Morgan.
  • Santa, I don’t know what to do . . . I need just a little help, a little respect. I am starting to feel like Rodney Dangerfield. I mean really . . . You know I promised the market guidance and I delivered! A fabulous booklet with all of our greatest new fangled ideas on jurisdiction, who is a foreign official and other creative stuff! But those pesky defense lawyers and business groups claim it is just my over reaching interpretations of the FCPA! Unfair! And they still want a procedures defense and don’t seem to trust me to just consider their efforts as part of the charging process. More unfair! A little respect Santa, for how hard it was to create those ideas, not to much to ask. Sincerely, Lanny Breuer, Assistant AG, DOJ Criminal Division.
  • . . . I know Santa that I told one of the Elves last summer that I wanted Rob to go and I bought him all those drinks to help me (please don’t tell Kara Brockmeyer, she and that guy at the DOJ will think that I bribed a foreign official since they think everyone who doesn’t have a U.S. passport is a foreign official) . . . but I really didn’t mean it . . . I like Rob!! But now that he is leaving, well could you maybe help me get his job . . . I know I could do! I have worked hard! I even got a new T-Shirt made with DDE on it – Director Division of Enforcement . . . Very Truly Yours, George Canellos.

As Santa jumps in the sleigh and Rudolph and the reindeer prepare to make their journey all the market players are sound a sleep in their beds, dreaming of what could be under the tree in the morning.

Hurricane Sandy: As we enjoy the holiday season please remember the victims of Sandy’s destruction with a donation to the Red Cross (here).

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