The SEC is back in the news again this morning…but not for the reasons you might expect (or hope). No, the venerable, DC-headquartered institution did not not catch another Ponzi schemer of epic proportions…and, no, it did not not nab another global financial meltdown…yet.
Alas, this time the agency is in trouble for something its employees actually did do.
According to a report by the Associated Press, “Senior staffers at the Securities and Exchange Commission spent hours surfing pornographic websites on government-issued computers while they were being paid to police the financial system, an agency watchdog says.”
One accountant was even blocked 16,000 times from accessing banned sites, the report said, as the results of a series of probes conducted during the financial crisis began to surface yesterday.
Seventeen of the employees were “at a senior level,” the AP report revealed, some earning salaries over $220,000 per year. According to ABC News, several of these people are still on the job, so to speak. Surprising? We think not.
In other SEC-related news, there is no shortage of controversial opinions surrounding the Commission’s case against Wall Street darling, Goldman Sachs. Speaking from the sidelines of the World MoneyShow in Hong Kong, Gloom, Boom & Doom Report mastermind, Dr. Marc Faber, told CNBC:
“I think Goldman Sachs is a very honest firm. They have a very strict compliance department compared to the others,” he remarked, adding, “they’re like an angel. But [the SEC] targeted Goldman as it stands as a symbol of Wall Street.”
Besides, Dr. Faber says, it’s all just an excuse for the Fed to print more money.
“Obama has lost the trust of the people,” he explained further to Kitco. “His approval rating is worse than Bush’s at this stage in the presidency. When people are dissatisfied in a democracy – you go after a minority to target – in the case of America, you go after Goldman Sachs, because it is the symbol of Wall Street and excessive money creation – and there is also a tone of anti-Semitism there.
“Maybe the intention is not to hurt Goldman Sachs, but just to gain popularity with the middle class and the lower class of America, so they will perceive Mr. Obama to have done something against the evil of Wall Street.”
He added, “Mr. Obama will do everything he can to get re-elected and that may involve some very bad decisions. He is like a roman emperor; he just gives out bread to the mob and produces games and circuses.”
Overall, Faber holds little hope for financial reform in the US. “The US should have less regulation and not more regulation – that is the origin and cause of the crisis.”