Inspector general finds bad apples at SEC

The SEC proves that there is plenty of financial crisis outrage to go around:

A Securities and Exchange Commission official attempted “to intimidate and influence” a family member’s broker on multiple occasions by invoking her position, potentially violating agency rules, according to the agency’s inspector general.

The allegation, detailed in a report reviewed by The Washington Post, is one of several that have raised questions about the internal conduct of some SEC employees at a time when the regulator is trying to counter accusations that it failed to effectively police Wall Street.

Another investigation found that some of the agency’s enforcement lawyers may have traded the stocks of Citigroup, United Health Group and other firms around the time the agency opened investigations into the companies.

The tendency in these situations is to point to a culture of corruption, and that may be one factor at play.  Another dynamic might be the effects of individuals and groups on creating that culture as outlined in Felps et al.  I’ve been very interested lately in Felps’ counter-intuitive research on “bad apples”.  The examples above seem rotten to the core.

One response to “Inspector general finds bad apples at SEC

  1. Pingback: Week in Public Organizations, 18May2009 « PublicOrgTheory

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