Classifieds Business Directory Jobs Real Estate Autos Legal Notices ePubs Subscribe Archives
Today is November 27, 2014
home news sports feature opinionfyi society obits multimedia

Front Page » August 6, 2013 » Carbon County Opinion » Guest Column
Published 478 days ago

Guest Column


Print PageEmail PageShareGet Reprints

By JIM HIGHTOWER
Otherwords

Steve Cohen, meet Capone

Al Capone was a bad boy. How bad? He cheated on his income taxes.

He went to prison in 1931 for that. Not for the people he gunned down, nor for any of the other gross illegalities the guy committed as a notorious Chicago mobster. Tax evasion landed Capone in the slammer.

Now comes Steven Cohen. He's not known to have killed anyone and is not a mobster. (Capone didn't think he was one either - he called himself a "businessman.")

Yet Cohen, a multibillionaire Wall Street hedge-fund huckster, shares with Capone the unpleasant experience of being pursued by the authorities - and possibly getting nailed on the Wall Street equivalent of tax evasion.

Cohen's hedge fund, SAC Capital, was caught pocketing a gazillion or so in profits through the criminal enterprise of insider trading. But Steve was able to dodge those criminal charges in the usual Wall Street way: by buying off the government. SAC paid the Securities and Exchange Commission about $600 million to make the problem go away, without having to admit guilt or be bothered by a trial. Neat.

Yeah, a $600 million fine would be a death sentence for you and me, but it's barely a hiccup for Cohen & Company - his outfit typically pulls in about a billion dollars a year just in "management" fees, not counting profits on investments. So Steve skated. Or so he thought. Now, his firm is fighting another criminal case.

And it turns out that Mary Jo White, the new chief of the Securities and Exchange Commission, is no pushover for hotshot finaglers. Suddenly, Cohen finds himself facing a civil charge: "failure to supervise" his hedge-fund traders. That might seem minor, but like Capone's tax evasion, it could be very major, for the SEC's punishment can include being barred from conducting Wall Street business.

See, when regulators have the will, there really are ways to go after Wall Street lawlessness.

OtherWords columnist Jim Hightower is a radio commentator, writer, and public speaker.

Print PageEmail PageShareGet Reprints


Top of Page


 
Carbon County Opinion  
August 6, 2013
Recent Opinion
Quick Links
Subscribe via RSS
Related Articles  
Related Stories



Best viewed with Firefox
Get Firefox

© Sun Advocate, 2000-2013. All rights reserved. All material found on this website, unless otherwise specified, is copyright and may not be reproduced without the explicit written permission from the publisher of the Sun Advocate.
Legal Notices & Terms of Use    Privacy Policy    Advertising Info    FAQ    Contact Us
  RSS Feeds    News on Your Site    Staff Information    Submitting Content    About Us