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Better Markets Statement on the Indefensible Double Standard at the SEC Division of Enforcement

Washington, D.C. – Dennis Kelleher, President and CEO of Better Markets, issued the following statement ahead of Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Enforcement Director Andrew Ceresney’s testimony before the Capital Markets Subcommittee of the House Financial Services Committee tomorrow morning:

“Even after the financial crisis hurt so many American families who lost their homes, jobs and savings, the SEC’s Enforcement Division perpetuates a double standard of justice. It throws the book at low level actors while letting the wealthy and well-connected too big to fail Wall Street banks and their executives off with, at most, slaps on the wrist. This persistent pattern incentivizes more lawlessness on Wall Street, where there is little fear of getting caught or getting meaningfully punished if they’re caught at all. 

“Enforcing the law in the suites is as important as doing so on the streets. The SEC Enforcement Division must go after Wall Street’s industry leaders, executives and supervisors with the same zeal they go after others. They need to require Wall Street’s biggest banks to fully disclose all the facts of the law-breaking, detail how the penalties paid fit the crime, how the action will actually deter future crime, and, no matter what, bring actions against the individuals responsible and bar them from the industry. Members of the subcommittee should ask Director Ceresney when they can expect to see concrete action proving that the SEC is back to being the cop on the Wall Street beat.”

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Better Markets is an independent, nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that promotes the public interest in financial reform in the domestic and global capital and commodity markets. Better Markets advocates for transparency, oversight and accountability with the goal of a stronger, safer financial system that is less prone to crisis and failure thereby eliminating or minimizing the need for more taxpayer funded bailouts. To learn more, visit www.bettermarkets.com.

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