SEC denies cover-up

Stacey Vanek Smith Dec 5, 2006


BOB MOON: Lawmakers will also be looking into some unfinished business involving the Securities and Exchange Commission. And what goes around seems to be coming around for the business watchdog. Regulators have been accused of stopping an insider-trading probe when it looked like a prominent Wall Street executive was going to be implicated. Stacey Vanek-Smith reports.

STACEY VANEK-SMITH: A former SEC investigator is accusing the commission of firing him after his investigation led to John Mack, the CEO of Morgan Stanley.

Evidently Mack used insider knowledge of an impending merger to help his friends at the Pequot Capital Management hedge fund cash in around $20 million.

The investigator claims he was fired when his bosses saw the inquiry was leading to Mack.

JUNIUS PEAKE: “It just seems to me they’re becoming sloppy.”

Junius Peake is Emeritus Professor at Northern Colorado. He says the problem seems systemic. He says he’s seen similar issues in the SEC’s regulation of the New York Stock Exchange

PEAKE:“I think they are over-lawyering it. It really bothers me a bit to see just how relaxed they’ve become in certain areas and perhaps not strong enough in others.”

The SEC says the investigator was fired because of an inability to work with other staff. It eventually interviewed Mack and dropped the investigation.

In New York, I’m Stacey Vanek-Smith for Marketplace.

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