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As Crime Soars on Wall Street, Its Top Cop Launches a PR Offensive

Courtesy of Pam Martens

SEC Chair Jay Clayton

SEC Chair Jay Clayton

Wall Street’s top cop, Securities and Exchange Commission Chair Jay Clayton, will embark on a four-city Town Hall type event with retail investors beginning next Monday, July 9. The cities targeted will be Miami, Washington D.C., Philadelphia and Denver. The SEC says it wants to hear first-hand about retail investors’ experiences with their investment advisers.

That announcement came from the SEC on Friday. On Monday of the previous week, Clayton delivered a speech on improving the Wall Street culture at a full day symposium held by the New York Fed  — an institution whose culture has also been deeply compromised by Wall Street. (See Is the New York Fed Too Deeply Conflicted to Regulate Wall Street?)

The low point of Clayton’s speech came in the opening minutes when he lavished praise on the scandal-laced tenure of the President of the New York Fed, Bill Dudley, who was appointed to that position on January 27, 2009 at the height of the financial crisis. Dudley has served as the head of the New York Fed until Friday, June 15, when he retired. Dudley previously worked as a partner and Managing Director at Goldman Sachs for two decades, including ten years as its U.S. Chief Economist. Clayton said this about Dudley:

“I want to extend my congratulations to Bill Dudley on a very successful term. You are now a member of the long line of former leaders and perpetual culture carriers at the New York Fed. The respect for the New York Fed, among national and international regulators and, importantly, market participants of all stripes, is remarkable, but clearly well deserved.”

If ever there was a legitimate reason to scream “fake news,” this was it. Dudley’s coddling of the big Wall Street banks was such an outrage that one of his own bank examiners, Carmen Segarra, (a woman with a law degree) was motivated to visit a spy store, buy a tiny tape recorder, and tape hours of conversations showing how the Fed cozied up to the big banks. Segarra said that she was fired by the New York Fed for refusing to change a negative bank examination of Goldman Sachs.

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