An interesting tidbit from Compliance Week blogger and former senior counsel in the SEC's Division of Enforcement, Bruce Carton: In terms of public opinion, the Securities and Exchange Commission is now in worse position than even the Internal Revenue Service. He writes:
In its National Juror Survey, Litigation PostScript found that the SEC is the most negatively viewed federal agency of the six included in the survey, with 55 percent of respondents expressing an unfavorable opinion. This compares to 46 percent of respondents expressing an unfavorable opinion towards the "always-hated Internal Revenue Service," Litigation PostScript found.
Who says there's no such thing as bad publicity? As Carton points out, the SEC was doing quite well when new chair Mary Schapiro and enforcement chief Robert Khuzami came on board and were very vocal about their intent to crack down on fraud of all kinds. But not long ago, news broke that two SEC staff attorneys were suspected of insider trading which, of course, resulted in more distrust from the public.
Other agencies included in the Litigation PostScript survey were the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the Food and Drug Administration, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and the Environmental Protection Agency.