So let's see if we can find a common thread in a couple of news items that have wafted over from the Securities and Exchange Commission.
The first was a dilly. The ink is still wet on the SEC lawsuit against Goldman Sachs (GS - Get Report) -- you know, the one alleging offenses so grave that prosecutors are said to be interested -- and already it seems destined for the round file. There are persistent reports that the bank is in settlement talks with the SEC. Got to put that bad stuff behind 'em and keep on giving clients great service. Got to resuscitate that share price. Got to... wait a moment. What about the rest of us? Doesn't the public deserve a full airing of the charges, along with a determination if they are true or false? That doesn't happen in SEC "neither admit nor deny" settlements.
Then there's that crash-uncrash spasm in the markets the other day. Rumors whirled that it was caused by one guy pushing the wrong button. It was nuts. The House Financial Services committee hurriedly convened a hearing to find out what happened, and called the one person in the world one logically assumes would be on top of the situation, SEC chairperson Mary Schapiro.