|Sen. Warren Asks SEC for Any Research on Benefits of 'No Admission' Settlements |
May 30 2013
In February 2013, Sen. Elizabeth Warren ushered in her first hearing as a senator by asking the nation's seven top financial regulators, "How tough you are? .... Tell me a little bit about the last few times you've taken the biggest financial institutions on Wall Street all the way to a trial? As discussed here, none of the regulators testifying at the hearing could provide any information on when their agency had actually taken a large financial institution to trial.
At the hearing, new SEC Chair Elisse Walter began to testify about how the SEC "look[s] at the distinction between what we could get if we go to trial, and what we could get if we don't," but she was shut down by Sen. Warren who apparently did not want to get sidetracked. In a letter [ warren.senate.gov ] (via World of Securities Regulation) dated May 14, 2013, however, Sen. Warren asked White, as well as the heads of the Federal Reserve and the DOJ, to provide more information on this point. Reiterating her concern that a regulator that is unwilling to actually take large financial institutions to trial has far less leverage in settlement negotiations, Warren asked White, Ben Bernanke and Eric Holder to answer the following question:
“ Have you conducted any internal research or analysis on trade-offs to the public between settling an enforcement action without admission of guilt and going forward with litigation as necessary to obtain such admission and, if so, can you provide that analysis to my office?
Two weeks later, it does not appear that the SEC, Federal Reserve or DOJ have offered any public response to Sen. Warren, but I will keep an eye out for this.