2010年5月15日土曜日

多忙な米SEC

米SECは多忙だったと思っていた。
米SECは通常監視業務に加え、特別な調査案件がある。
・CDO販売調査
・NY株式暴落調査
・誤発注対策調査


しかし、一部の人の業務はアダルトサイト閲覧らしい。
米SECは内部調査で、30人が就業中にアダルトサイトにアクセスし、
内17人は年収10万ドル以上の係長クラス以上と発表した。
8時間アダルト写真ダウンロードし、DVDに焼き、箱詰めした本部の
弁護士や16000回ネットフィルタでブロックされた会計士、別の女性
会計士は、二週間で1800回アダルトサイトを閲覧。
これらの役人は停職か解雇となった。

豪マッコーリー銀行で、テレビ中継中のアダルトサイトを閲覧していた
行員は解雇は免れたようだ。

1%未満の人が、不適切業務を行っていたため、残りの99%が嫌な思いを
させられても思うが、もしかしたら、人事統計的には、まだ良いほう
なのかもしれない。

NYSE 株価急落
GS 空売り違反で制裁金
GS 詐欺容疑で捜査開始


SEC Faces Porn Scandal CBS


Macquarie Bank Employee busted looking at nude photos of Miranda Kerr live on TV

---米シティなどに捜査拡大 金融商品めぐり米検察---
2010年5月13日 22時41分
http://www.tokyo-np.co.jp/s/article/2010051301001168.html

 【ニューヨーク共同】住宅ローンに関連した金融商品の販売に際し、投資家に適切な情報開示を行っていたかどうかを突き止めるため、米連邦検察当局がシティグループやJPモルガン・チェースなど欧米の金融大手4社を捜査していると13日付の米紙ウォールストリート・ジャーナルが伝えた。
 同紙によると、ドイツ最大手ドイツ銀行とスイス最大手UBSも捜査対象となっている。これとは別にゴールドマン・サックスとモルガン・スタンレーについても同様の捜査が進められているとされ、米金融界を巻き込むスキャンダルに発展する様相を呈している。
 一方、同日付のニューヨーク・タイムズ紙は、米大手バンク・オブ・アメリカ傘下の証券大手メリルリンチとフランス大手クレディ・アグリコルの2社を含む大手8社について、米ニューヨーク州検察が調査を始めたと報じた。
 金融商品の格付けを引き上げようと、各社が不適切な情報を格付け会社に提供した疑いが浮上している。

---米検察当局がモルガン・スタンレーのCDO取引で捜査開始か---
2010.05.12 Web posted at: 21:12 JST Updated - CNNMoney
http://www.cnn.co.jp/business/AIC201005120022.html

ロンドン(CNNMoney) 米紙ウォールストリート・ジャーナルは、米連邦検察当局が金融大手モルガン・スタンレーのデリバティブ取引をめぐり、投資家を欺く行為があったかどうかについて捜査を開始したと伝えた。

同紙が事情に詳しい情報筋の話として伝えたところによると、捜査の対象となっているのは、モルガン・スタンレーが組んだ住宅ローン関連の債務担保証券(CDO)。自社のトレーダーが、このCDOの価格下落に賭ける取引を繰り返していた疑いがある。

同紙によれば、捜査は予備段階で、同社がこれらの取引を投資家にどう説明していたかが焦点となっている。マンハッタン連邦検事局と証券取引委員会(SEC)はコメントを拒否しているという。

同社の報道担当者はCNNに、指摘された件に関して司法省からの接触はなく、同省が捜査しているとの認識もないと述べた。

米金融大手によるCDO取引では、ゴールドマン・サックスが4月、詐欺容疑でSECから提訴されている。


---モルガン・スタンレーに捜査…米連邦検察局---
2010年5月12日19時46分 読売新聞
http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/atmoney/news/20100512-OYT1T00975.htm

 【ニューヨーク=小谷野太郎】米金融大手モルガン・スタンレーが組成した不動産融資関連のデリバティブ(金融派生商品)で、投資家をだました疑いがあるとして、米連邦検察局が捜査を始めたことが11日、分かった。
 米ウォール・ストリート・ジャーナル紙(電子版)が報じた。金融商品の不正販売を巡っては、米ゴールドマン・サックスに対しても証券詐欺の疑いで捜査が進んでいるとされ、他の金融機関に問題が拡大する可能性も出てきた。
 検察局の捜査は予備的な段階にあるという。捜査対象は、モルガン・スタンレーが2006年に組成した複数の債務担保証券(CDO)と呼ばれる金融商品で、他の金融大手によって投資家に販売された。
 モルガン・スタンレーは、この商品の価格が下落した際にもうかる取引をしていた。


---米SEC、CDO販売めぐりドイツ銀とシティ調査=報道---
2010年 05月 13日 06:52 JST
http://jp.reuters.com/article/businessNews/idJPJAPAN-15274920100512

 [ニューヨーク 12日 ロイター] フォックス・ビジネス・ネットワークが12日、関係筋の話として報じたところによると、米証券取引委員会(SEC)は債務担保証券(CDO)の販売をめぐり、ドイツ銀行(DB.N: 株価, 企業情報, レポート) とシティグループ(C.N: 株価, 企業情報, レポート) を調査している。
 調査は現在も続いているが、法的措置を受ける可能性を通知する「ウェルズ・ノーティス」は両社とも受け取っていないとしている。
 ドイツ銀とシティの広報担当者はコメントを控えた。


---Last week's stock plunge largely caused by big Wall Street firms, SEC chief says---
By Zachary A. Goldfarb
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, May 12, 2010
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/05/11/AR2010051104781.html

Major Wall Street firms retreated from the market Thursday at the very moment when they were most needed to support normal trading, in what a senior federal regulator called the "most significant" factor behind the stock market's dramatic volatility.

Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Mary Schapiro discounted Monday many of the most widely discussed theories behind why the markets panicked. These include an erroneous "fat finger" trade that started it all; hacking or terrorist activity; unusually large trading in shares of Procter & Gamble, a component of the Dow Jones industrial average; and trading in derivatives.

"The markets failed investors," Schapiro said. But, she added, "at this point, we are unable to point to a single event which could be the sole cause."

In prepared testimony before a congressional panel probing the market turmoil, Schapiro said a key cause was the sudden withdrawal from the market of firms that traditionally play a role as a "liquidity provider" by purchasing stocks when prices are declining and selling stocks when prices are rising.

Under securities laws, some of the firms -- often associated with a major bank or brokerage -- are required to remain active in the market even during times of market stress. But many of these more established liquidity providers have been displaced in the past decade by high-speed electronic trading firms that face no such legal obligation to provide liquidity.

The SEC named no names. Some of the largest established liquidity providers include Citadel Securities, Barclays Capital and Merrill Lynch, which are part of financial conglomerates. Less-known firms that are recent comers to the industry include Getco and Jump Trading. These companies are smaller operations that focus exclusively on electronic trading.

Schapiro said liquidity providers stopped buying stocks that suffered large price declines Thursday, "whether because of an intentional decision to withdraw or because of specific market practices," without specifying those practices. She said there is no indication that government rules were breached.

Regulators have spent the past several days analyzing millions of trades but have yet to determine what was behind Thursday's volatility. On that day, the Dow Jones industrial average rapidly fell nearly 1,000 points before rebounding 700 points, as many individual stocks suffered dramatic plunges before reclaiming most of their declines.

Schapiro said that the investigation's preliminary findings will be issued Monday but that the task at hand is huge: reviewing millions of trades in billions of shares.

Schapiro identified as another key cause of the volatility the different rules among exchanges for when to slow or stop trading in a fast-declining stock. On Monday, Schapiro gave U.S. stock exchanges 24 hours to devise a marketwide plan to stop or slow trading in stocks that are falling rapidly.

The SEC said on Tuesday that it had received the exchanges' recommendations but would not say what they were.

Meanwhile, the SEC and Commodity Futures Trading Commission announced Tuesday the creation of a joint task force to discuss emerging regulatory issues, with an initial focus on Thursday's volatility. The task force will look at regulatory loopholes and any possible gaps between areas of the market overseen by the two entities.

Members of the committee include, among others, Brooksley Born, a former CFTC chairman who warned more than a decade ago about the risks of derivatives; former SEC chairman David S. Ruder; and former Vanguard chief executive Jack Brennan.

Schapiro said Thursday's volatility raises several regulatory implications. She said the SEC would look at "timeout" mechanisms that pause action in the market or particular stocks during times of distress.

She said the automated nature of today's trading might require additional timeout mechanisms. In addition, she said the SEC is considering limits on the prices at which trades can be executed and limitations on the size of market orders.

Schapiro also said the agency would look at whether short-term trading strategies, such as those that use computer analysis to make split-second decisions, need to be curtailed.

The SEC has several proposals outstanding that would address some of these issues. One proposal would beef up risk-management controls for brokers. Another would make it easier to capture and analyze trading patterns across markets.


---Goldman settlement with SEC could be costly---
By David Ellis, staff writerMay 12, 2010: 3:31 AM ET
http://money.cnn.com/2010/05/12/news/companies/goldman_settlement/

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- If you can't fight the federal government, you may as well pay 'em. Especially if you're Goldman Sachs.

In recent days, Wall Street has been abuzz with speculation that Goldman attorneys have entered preliminary talks with the Securities and Exchange Commission with the hopes of settling the outstanding federal fraud charges now facing the company.

Executives at the New York City-based investment bank have offered similar hints.

"There are a myriad of opportunities out there and I won't rule any of them out," Gary Cohn, the company's president and chief operating officer, said at the conclusion of the firm's annual shareholder meeting last week.

A settlement with the SEC would likely bring to an end at least some of the negative publicity Goldman has had to endure since regulators charged the company and one of its employees with defrauding investors in the sale of a complex mortgage investment dubbed "Abacus."

Determining just how much Goldman (GS, Fortune 500) might be on the hook for however, is not simple.

Some legal experts said that a settlement could exceed the $1 billion the SEC claims that investors lost on the deal. That's due to the high-profile nature of the case and the lack of bargaining power Goldman may have with regulators.

"As a principal regulator, [the SEC] can negatively impact Goldman's ongoing businesses," said David Desser, managing director of the Chicago-based Juris Capital, a privately-held fund that invests in commercial litigation. "That is a big hammer that no other litigant has against an adversary in court."

A penalty of more than $1 billion would rank as the largest SEC settlement in the post-Sarbanes-Oxley era, eclipsing the $800 million AIG (AIG, Fortune 500) paid to the agency to settle claims related to misstatement of financial results in 2006, according to NERA Economic Consulting.
0:00 /1:54Goldman shareholders speak up

Others suggest that the SEC may be willing to accept just a fraction of that amount, citing some of its recent settlements as well as the mountain of other enforcement cases the agency has to deal with.

But what Goldman ultimately pays may prove to be of secondary importance.

After all, for a company that is expected to earn $13 billion in pre-tax profits in the next three quarters, according to Thomson Reuters, any fine will likely be quite manageable, especially if a settlement allows Goldman to avoid being in the public spotlight as much it has during the last year.

Instead, legal experts suggest that Goldman may be particularly fearful of any additional demands the SEC may have as part of a settlement.
Check Goldman's stock quote

The agency could, for example, require the company to create greater distance between its mortgage underwriting and trading operations or provide greater transparency to clients about its different investment products.

"Part of it was the difficulty in valuing these derivatives," said Elizabeth Nowicki, a securities law professor at Boston University, who formerly served as a staff attorney for the SEC. "It might be reasonable for the SEC to insist on some best practices disclosures regarding valuation."

Such a move would not be a major departure for the SEC. In the high-profile settlement it reached earlier this year with Bank of America (BAC, Fortune 500) over bonuses paid to Merrill Lynch employees, the banking giant was required to implement a number of corporate governance measures through 2013, including giving its shareholders an advisory vote on the pay of its executives.

Any deal that is struck between Goldman and the SEC might also resolve the fate of Fabrice Tourre, the 31-year-old French trader who helped broker the now infamous investment deal.

Most experts agree that if Tourre is included in a settlement, chances are he could face a fine as well as a suspension from the securities industry for as much as a year.

Goldman Sachs, which has already moved to distance itself from the London-based employee, will most certainly be looking for ways to insulate itself from any future legal action.

Experts said Goldman could also push the SEC to include language in any settlement that Goldman neither "admits nor denies" the SEC charges.

James Cox, a securities law professor at Duke University, said that the company might also attempt to seek a so-called "global settlement," which would absolve the company of any outstanding current or future federal or state lawsuits over the 2007 Abacus transaction or similar mortgage deals.

That would at least alleviate some of the legal headaches the firm is currently facing.

In two separate securities filings this month, Goldman acknowledged it now faces a variety of related lawsuits, as well as investigations from a number of international regulatory agencies, including Britain's Financial Services Authority, over the sale of mortgage-related investments.


---株暴落の原因特定出来ず…米公聴会でSEC---
2010年5月12日11時01分 読売新聞
http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/atmoney/news/20100512-OYT1T00411.htm

 【ワシントン=岡田章裕】米下院金融サービス委員会は11日、米株式市場で今月6日に株価が一時暴落した問題について公聴会を開いた。
 米証券取引委員会(SEC)のシャピロ委員長は、「これまでの調査で、暴落の原因と考えられる証拠は見つかっていない」と述べ、原因を特定出来ていないことを明らかにした。
 市場では、大手金融機関が主要銘柄への売り注文を出す際に、「ミリオン(million=100万)」と「ビリオン(billion=10億)」を誤って入力したことが、暴落の原因との見方が広がっていた。しかし、シャピロ委員長は、「完全にその可能性を排除出来ていないが、調査では、そうしたエラーは見つかっていない」と述べた。また、コンピューターハッカーや、テロリストの仕業という憶測については、「可能性につながる、いかなる情報も見つかっていない」と否定した。
 SECは商品先物取引委員会(CFTC)と合同委員会を設立し、原因の本格究明に入っている。来週には予備調査結果を公表するが、調査は難航する可能性もある。


------GS、SECに和解条件提示へ CDOめぐる提訴---
2010.5.11 05:00
http://www.sankeibiz.jp/macro/news/100511/mcb1005110504004-n1.htm

 米ゴールドマン・サックス(GS)は、同社が債務担保証券(CDO)の販売をめぐり投資家を欺いたとして提訴された問題で、米証券取引委員会(SEC)と和解の可能性について交渉しているもようだ。英紙サンデー・テレグラフ(電子版)が同社に近い匿名の関係者1人の話を基に報じた。
 同紙によると、ゴールドマンは、同社に詐欺行為があったとの主張をSECが取り下げれば、処理不備上の過失を認めて制裁金の支払いに応じる意思を示す見込み。ただし、不正行為があったとは認めない方針という。
 同紙がこの関係者の話を引用して伝えたところでは、ゴールドマンはSECに対して勝算がないため、和解を模索しているという。ガイトナー米財務長官と米連邦準備制度理事会(FRB)も係争解決を望んでいるとしている。
 ゴールドマンのロンドン在勤の広報担当者は報道された内容についてコメントを控えた。(ブルームバーグ Abigail Moses)


---米SECと取引所、株価急落めぐり誤発注対策強化などで合意---
2010年 05月 11日 08:11 JST
http://jp.reuters.com/article/topNews/idJPJAPAN-15226120100510

 [ワシントン/ニューヨーク 10日 ロイター] 米市場監督機関と主要6取引所は、株式市場が急落した場合に取引を抑制する仕組みが必要との見解で一致した。関係筋が明らかにしたもので、具体的には個別銘柄に基づくサーキットブレーカーなどが検討される。
 証券取引委員会(SEC)のシャピロ委員長、主要株式・オプション取引所幹部、証券業界の自主規制機関である金融取引業規制機構(FINRA)は10日、先週6日の株価急落の原因究明と善後策を協議した。
 シャピロ委員長は声明で「サーキットブレーカーや誤った取引への対応強化に向けた枠組みについて合意した。1日かけて精査する」と述べたが、詳細には触れなかった。関係筋によると、きょうの会合では6日の20分にわたる乱高下について、原因は特定されなかった。
 関係筋によると改善の必要性で合意されたのは以下の3点。1)個別銘柄が急落した際の市場全体へのサーキットブレーカーの適用、2)誤発注による取引へのルール明確化、3)大幅な市場下落時の現在のサーキットブレーカー制改善――。
 現在は主要指数が午後2時前に10%下落した場合、1時間の売買停止となる。午後2時30分以降に20%以上下落した場合は引けまで売買停止となる。6日の場合、ダウ工業株30種は最大で9.2%、S&P総合500種は8.6%下落しており、サーキットブレーカーが発動する水準には達しなかった。
 関係筋によると、誤発注による取引を取り消す明確な規定の必要性についても議論されたという。
 SEC委員長は10日午前に、ニューヨーク証券取引所(NYSE)、ナスダック・ストック・マーケット、BATS、ダイレクト・エッジ、インターナショナル・セキュリティーズ取引所(ISE)、シカゴ・ オプション取引所(CBOE)の幹部と会談した。午後にはガイトナー財務長官とも会った。
 11日には下院金融小委員会で公聴会が開かれ、SECをはじめ監督機関、証券取引所幹部らが証言する予定。

---After S.E.C. Suit Warning, Traders Flee Moody’s Shares---
By DAVID SEGAL
Published: May 10, 2010
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/11/business/11moodys.html?dbk

Shares of Moody’s fell sharply on Monday after it disclosed that the Securities and Exchange Commission had warned that it might sue the firm for making “false and misleading” statements as part of its application as a ratings organization.

The S.E.C. sent the New York-based company a Wells notice, the regulator’s way of signaling that it was considering legal action against a firm. Moody’s said it received the notice on March 18 and disclosed it in a quarterly filing on Friday.

The company said that the notice stemmed from actions by members of a European rating surveillance committee who “may have violated Moody’s professional code of conduct,” according to a spokesman, Michael N. Adler. Moody’s reported the incident to the S.E.C. in 2008, Mr. Adler said in a statement, and has complied with the commission’s subsequent requests for information.

“Moody’s policy clearly prohibits the conduct in which these employees engaged,” Mr. Adler said, “and we do not believe that a single violation of our policy renders that policy false.”

According to regulatory filings, Raymond W. McDaniel Jr., Moody’s chief executive, sold or exercised options worth about $4.3 million on March 18, the same day that his company received the Wells notice.

Moody’s shares closed at $29.66 the day of Mr. McDaniel’s sale, near their high of $30.54 so far this year. Moody’s shares have traded as low as $18.50 over the last 52 weeks. On Monday, the shares fell as much as 12 percent, but finished the day down 7 percent at $21.77.

Moody’s said Mr. McDaniel’s sales in March were part of a prearranged plan established about a month before the Wells notice arrived.

Berkshire Hathaway, the investment vehicle for Warren E. Buffett and a major Moody’s shareholder, also sold more than one million shares worth more than $30 million on March 19, March 24 and March 26. The sales represent a small portion of Berkshire’s overall stake in Moody’s. Berkshire did not return a call seeking comment about its sales.

A spokesman for the S.E.C. would not comment on Moody’s disclosure.

Scrutiny of the ratings agencies is increasing. Moody’s and the other two major ratings agencies - Standard & Poor’s and Fitch - have been widely criticized for the high grades they affixed to billions of dollars of subprime mortgages that were rendered worthless, or nearly so, by the credit crisis. Critics have contended that the companies failed in their roles as independent risk analysts, in part because they were paid by the investment banks whose products they were analyzing.

The companies now face more than two dozen private lawsuits and cases by attorneys general in Ohio and Connecticut. In the Congressional debates on financial reform, lawmakers are considering measures that would enhance the S.E.C.’s capacity to regulate the ratings agencies.

But the action disclosed by Moody’s suggests that the S.E.C. is not waiting for greater powers to flex whatever muscle it now has - a show of strength that some experts contend is long overdue.

“I think that the credit crisis embarrassed the S.E.C. with the question of why they weren’t more concerned about the ratings agencies before 2007,” says Edward J. Kane, a professor of finance at Boston College. “With this Wells notice, along with the action against Goldman Sachs, it seems clear that the S.E.C. is gearing up to try to deal with the potential fraud and deception that occurred during the securitization bubble.”

According to Moody’s, the S.E.C. was prompted by a report in May 2008 in The Financial Times. The article stated that in 2007, members of a committee that oversaw a certain type of European derivative - called constant proportion debt obligations - knew that some of the products had been given inflated ratings because of a problem in the company’s risk modeling software.

Without that problem, The Financial Times reported, the bonds would have received ratings as many as four notches lower. Moody’s corrected the software error, but the bonds maintained their Triple A ratings until January 2008.

Moody’s hired an outside law firm to investigate the matter, and subsequently took disciplinary actions that included terminations, according to Mr. Adler. He declined to provide further detail.

In June 2007, the company submitted an application to become a nationally recognized statistical rating organization, as required by S.E.C. regulations. That application included a code of conduct. The Wells notice essentially says that because Moody’s employees had violated that code, the application included a false and misleading statement.

What the S.E.C.’s action will mean for lawsuits against the ratings agencies is unclear, though Adam Savett of RiskMetrics, which has tracked the litigation, predicts that it might serve as a thumb on the scale for plaintiffs’ lawyers.

“Judges are human and when they look at the facts of a case, if this Wells notice turns into an actual lawsuit, it will become part of the gestalt when judges weigh whether to allow cases to go forward,” he said. “Then again, if you take a step back, the judges in these cases have been focusing very narrowly on the facts before them, taking each case on its merits, teasing out the true culpability. There was a concern in the business community initially that there would be mass lynchings for the ratings agencies in courts across the country. But that has not happened.”

All that is certain, he added, is “the S.E.C. has just upped the stakes.”


---米証券取引委33人が勤務中にポルノ閲覧、金融危機のさなか急増---
2010年04月24日 19:05 発信地:ニューヨーク/米国
http://www.afpbb.com/article/life-culture/life/2720846/5661433

【4月24日 AFP】米証券取引委員会(Securities and Exchange Commission、SEC)のスタッフらが、米国の経済が悪化し始めた08年から現在まで、ポルノサイトを毎日何時間も勤務中に閲覧していたとする内部監視機関の報告書が23日、明らかになった。
 報告書はまだ正式発表されていないが、米ABCテレビが報告書の内容を報じた。報告書によると「勤務時間中に政府所有のコンピューター資源を使用し、ポルノや露骨な性描写、きわどい性描写などを閲覧して委員会規則や政府倫理基準に違反した従業員や契約者らの数は、過去5年間で 33人に上った」。ポルノサイト閲覧は5年前に始まり、2008年の米経済危機の始まりとともに増加したという。
 ポルノサイト閲覧者は、SECの全スタッフ3500人のうちの1%にも満たないが、閲覧者のうち17人が上級職で、「半数以上が年収9万9000ドル~22万3000ドル(約930万円~2100万円)」だった。
 また、ABCテレビによれば、深刻な違反者のうち1人は、ワシントンD.C.(Washington D.C.)にあるSEC本部に勤務する上級弁護士だった。この弁護士は、1日あたり最長8時間をネットのポルノサイトに費やし、「政府から支給されたPCをポルノでいっぱいにしてしまった後は、CDやDVDにデータを書き込み、オフィスの箱に保管していた」。
 また、別の会計士の女性は、ポルノサイトに2週間で1800回のアクセスを試み、ポルノ600点をハードディスク(HDD)に残していたという。
 SECのポルノ閲覧の実態調査は、共和党のチャック・グラスリー(Chuck Grassley)上院議員の要求により実施された。
 報告書は、米金融システムの崩壊が始まった08年に、大半のポルノサイト閲覧も始まったと指摘。「現在も問題は続いている」とまとめた。


---Wall St regulators spent hours watching porn instead of monitoring crisis---
April 23, 2010
Nico Hines in Washington
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/us_and_americas/article7106889.ece

Senior watchdog officials spent hours viewing pornographic material on government computers when they should have been regulating Wall Street during the worst fiscal crisis since the 1930s.

An internal report by the Securities and Exchange Commission concluded that more than 30 officials were investigated for accessing explicit images on work computers - 17 of those were senior staff earning between $100,000 and $222,000 per year.

The worst offenders were caught accessing thousands of images, spending up to eight hours a day looking at pornography and burning the inappropriate material on to scores of CDs and DVDs kept in boxes at the regulator’s offices.

Republicans today accused SEC officials of being “preoccupied with other distractions” when they should have been overseeing the growing problems in the financial system.

Darrell Issa, the senior Republican on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, said it was “disturbing that high-ranking officials within the SEC were spending more time looking at porn than taking action to help stave off the events that put our nation’s economy on the brink of collapse”.

The SEC’s internal watchdog conducted 33 probes of employees looking at explicit images in the past five years. A memo, which emerged last night, says 31 of those probes occurred in the two and a half years since the financial system was destabilised by the collapse of sub-prime mortgage investments.

The memo, written by David Kotz, the SEC Inspector General, summarises some of the most egregious offences. One senior attorney at the SEC’s Washington headquarters spent up to eight hours a day looking at and downloading pornography. When he ran out of hard drive space, he burned the files to CDs or DVDs, which he kept in boxes around his office. He agreed to resign after being investigated.

An accountant was blocked more than 16,000 times in a single month by an internet filter that prevented him from entering pornographic websites. Despite repeated automated refusals, he still amassed a collection of “very graphic” material on his hard drive.

Another accountant - a woman - attempted to explicit websites 1,800 times in a fortnight. She was found to have 600 pornographic images on her computer hard drive The number of cases at the SEC, which is responsible for maintaining stable and orderly financial markets, increased from two in 2007 to 16 in 2008.

John Nester, an SEC spokesman, said that each of the offending employees has been disciplined or is in the process of being disciplined, and some have already been suspended or dismissed.

“We will not tolerate the transgressions of the very few who bring discredit to their thousands of hardworking colleagues,” he said.


---グラビア閲覧の銀行員、解雇されず オーストラリア---
2010年02月06日 14:45 発信地:シドニー/オーストラリア
http://www.afpbb.com/article/life-culture/life/2691528/5284237

 【2月6日 AFP】勤務中にグラビア画像を眺めているのがテレビ中継されてしまったオーストラリアの銀行員について、豪投資銀行マッコーリー(Macquarie Bank)は6日、この従業員を解雇しない方針を発表した。
 マッコーリー従業員のデービッド・キーリー(David Kiely)さんは、勤務中にランジェリー・ブランド「ヴィクトリアズ・シークレット(Victoria's Secret)」のモデル、ミランダ・カー(Miranda Kerr)さんのセミヌード写真を眺めているところを、同僚のインタビューを映していたカメラで「中継」されてしまった。
 マッコーリーは内部調査の結果キーリーさんを解雇しない方針を決定し、「マッコーリーと従業員一同は、気分を害された方々にお詫びします」との声明を発表した。
 この騒動をめぐっては、モデルのミランダ・カーさんも5日、キーリーさんが解雇されないよう求める嘆願書に喜んで署名すると支持を表明。動画投稿サイト「ユーチューブ(YouTube)」に投稿されたこの中継動画は数百万回も再生され、ソーシャル・ネットワーキング・サービス(SNS)「フェースブック(Facebook)」上にはキーリーさん支援ページが複数登場し、ロンドン(London)に拠点を置くビジネス関連サイト「hereisthecity.com」は「セーブ・デーブ(Save Dave、デーブを救え)」キャンペーンを展開して人気を博した。
 キーリーさん支援の輪はネット上で現在も広がっており、6日朝現在、フェースブックの「マッコーリーへ:キーリーを解雇するな(Macquarie -- Don't Fire David Kiely)」グループのメンバーは1344人に上っていた。

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