A Cloak Secrecy That Unbecomes The SEC

Readers of this space will know that I was an early critic of the SEC's whistleblower program.  In 2016, for example, I observed that the SEC had awarded $136 million to only 37 individuals.  Earlier, I posted five theses regarding the SEC's program:

  • The whistleblower program victimizes the victims of securities fraud.  
  • The whistleblower program creates moral hazard for the SEC.
  • It is questionable public policy to award $83 million on just four people.  
  • The SEC's program lacks transparency.  
  • The cost to civil society outweighs the benefits of enforcement.  

I was therefore pleased to see this recently published investigative report by John Holland in which he asserts:

But the review of all 561 SEC final orders revealed a program operating in secrecy far beyond its legislative mandate to protect whistleblowers’ identities. The agency won’t disclose names of companies involved in fraud, hasn’t identified all of the law firms that received money for their clients, and won’t even report the office’s annual budget.

There is certainly no dearth of irony in a federal agency dedicated to full disclosure cloaking in secrecy a billion dollar awards program.