Thursday, May 18, 2006

Comings and Goings

A couple of comings and goings came to my attention today.

The first was a press release today from the Securities and Exchange Commission, with good news! Good news, that is, for Debevoise & Plimpton, the hotshot Washington law firm that just hired away the SEC's Associate Director of Enforcement, Paul R. Berger. Mazel tov!

Interesting how the SEC always issues a press release on such occasions, actually proud of the revolving door between itself and the big law firms that defend the people and companies it is supposed to regulate and investigate.

Once hired, these people work very hard behind the scenes, to make life easier for Wall Street and public companies, thereby ensuring that all those years of low-paid service to the SEC don't go to waste.

Stuff like the revolving door doesn't get too much attention because of the media's declining appetite for tough, investigative reporting, as I described in my book.

That brings me to the second coming and going that emerged today, at Time magazine.

It was in the papers today, at the tail end of articles about the new managing editor. If you look deep down in these stories, such as this one in the New York Times, you can see that the famed investigative team of Donald Barlett and James Steele have been tossed out on the Street.

"They're very good but very expensive, and I couldn't get anyone to take them on their budget," the Times quoted Time Inc. editor in chief John Huey as saying.

"We'll miss their work," he is quoted as adding and golly, I sure will miss their work. Won't you?

I don't think that regulatory agencies will miss their work. Pesky reporters are annoying, and can hamper one's quest for what really matters, which is that cushy job at the end of the rainbow.

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Wall Street Versus America was published by Penguin USA on April 6.
Click here for its Amazon.com listing and here for more information on the book, from my web site.

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