From the New York Times, this breaking news for Friday afternoon:
SAC Fund to Pay $614 Million to Settle Insider Trading Case
Two affiliates of SAC Capital, the giant hedge fund, settled insider trading charges with the Securities and Exchange Commission for $614 million, in what the agency said was the biggest ever settlement for such cases.
$600 million here, $600 million there, will eventually amount to real money, even in the halls of Congress.
Is is possible we're seeing a new stage in the era of Too Big to Nail, Fail or Jail?
Just this morning, Sen. Levin (D-MI) opened a Senate hearing on JP Morgan Chase's $6+ billion - billion - trading loss last year, the one where the "London Whale" made ever increasing trades with more and more leverage, until the whole unit was in jeopardy.
Senator Levin is Chairman of the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations. It has jurisdiction to investigate a range of issues, including federal waste, fraud and abuse, corporate crime, offshore banking and tax practices, energy markets, corruption and national security. Senator Levin has the bit in his teeth once again.
The Senate investigators have released a report suggesting that the nation's biggest bank - the behemoth that law allows it to call itself a bank - at the highest levels of the bank, ignored internal controls, manipulated risk assessments and may have withheld information from regulators.
With Senator Warren (D-MA) on the Banking Committee and Mary Jo White's pending nomination to head the SEC, we may be on the edge of a turnaround of tectonic proportions, if for no other reason than that the limelight makes Congressional obeisance to banking interests even more apparent.
Not to mention that there may be big bucks in the recoveries and fines assessed. And then there's the proposal for a Financial Transactions tax.