Wall Streeters are known for riding high, and getting high at blowout parties and conferences. And that’s why Wall Street events are the Securities and Exchange Commission’s new favorite place to land big tips.
The SEC and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission are increasingly studying guest lists and schmoozing with guests at events in an attempt to nail those breaking the rules.
“You have to credit the SEC for trying to understand what’s actually happening in the market,” Pat Smith, a former federal prosecutor and partner at Smith Villazor in New York, told Bloomberg. “There’s been a lot of criticism over the years that there’s a lack of sophistication about markets and industry practice.”
But critics fear all this mingling with in the enemy’s camp could lead to collusion. Some may even leave for high-paying jobs in finance.
“Overall, it’s a good thing but a byproduct could be that SEC officials develop contacts for an industry job down the line,” James Cox, a professor at Duke University School of Law, told Bloomberg.
But whether you love or hate these gatecrashers, they are always easy to spot. They’ll be the guys standing next to the bar without a drink, because accepting the swill of scotch at an open bar is against SEC protocol.