So all a Wall Street banker has to do is deny that he knows what someone else says he knows, and the SEC folds? Oy:
Mr. Fuld’s role was harder to ferret out. Bart H. McDade, another Lehman executive, told Mr. Valukas that Mr. Fuld “was familiar with the term” Repo 105 and “knew about the accounting.” But Mr. Fuld told the S.E.C. that he had never heard of Repo 105, officials said, undermining a potential case. A lawyer for Mr. Fuld declined to comment.
The S.E.C. team also concluded that Repo 105 would not have been “material” to investors because the firm’s leverage ratio was trending downward regardless of Repo 105.
That conclusion set off a wave of dissent inside the S.E.C. Senior accountants and the head of the S.E.C. unit that oversaw corporate disclosures questioned the findings. Ms. Schapiro urged Mr. Canellos to keep digging.
But Mr. Canellos, a former federal prosecutor who is now the co-head of the S.E.C.’s enforcement unit, did not budge. Despite the political pressure, he told colleagues at one of the meetings, they could not bring a case if the evidence was lacking.
“Our job is to seek justice,” he said.