I’m not feeling it

Insider trading? That’s hardly the worst thing that’s happened over the past few years, and it’s also a civil case, one handled by the SEC, not the Department of Justice. I want to see some bankers sent to prison, not slapped on the hand and fined for less than their annual bonuses. Unless ir results in criminal charges, this is like a parking ticket to these guys — a mere annoyance.

The Securities and Exchange Commission has accused a former director of Goldman Sachs and Procter & Gamble of passing illegal tips about those companies to Raj Rajaratnam, the Galleon Group founder who is to go on trial next week on insider trading charges.

The former director, Rajat K. Gupta, is accused of passing along information on the two companies’ earnings as well as word of Warren E. Buffett’s $5 billion investment in Goldman Sachs in 2008.

As a longtime senior executive at McKinsey & Company, Mr. Gupta, 62, is the most prominent business executive ensnared by the government in a wide-ranging investigation into insider trading on Wall Street. He ran McKinsey from 1994 to 2003 and counts as friends and associates some of the most powerful people in business.

In comparison, many of the defendants charged earlier with insider trading were junior traders and lawyers or midlevel executives. Over the last 18 months, federal prosecutors in Manhattan have charged 46 people with insider trading; of those, 29 have pleaded guilty.

3 thoughts on “I’m not feeling it

  1. I was thinking this morning that what we should do to the bankers so it won’t be so easy for them to con people in the future, is to brand them. How about a big CE on their foreheads, where CE stands for Caveat Emptor.

  2. Insider trading is a crime against the system, pitting one profiteering investor against another. That’s the only reason the are prosecuting it, and even them its more like a foul in a basketball game.

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