SEC Nominee Has Represented 8 of the 10 Largest Wall Street Banks in Past Three Years
There’s an obvious problem when you put an advocate for an industry in charge of a program to regulate the industry. You get things like this: “Why Did SEC Acting Chair Take an Ax to Enforcement Unit’s Subpoena Power?” Why on earth would an enforcement agency abandon its subpoena powers? The obvious answer: it is not interested in enforcement but in protecting the industry from oversight. See also
Pam Martens and Russ Martens report in Wall Street on Parade:
President Trump’s nominee to head the Securities and Exchange Commission, Walter J. (Jay) Clayton, a law partner at Sullivan & Cromwell, has represented 8 of the 10 largest Wall Street banks as recently as within the last three years.
Clayton’s current resume at his law firm is somewhat misleading. It lists under “Representative Engagements” in “Capital Markets/Leveraged Finance” the following:
Initial public offering of $25 billion by Alibaba Group Holding Limited;
Initial public offering of $190 million by Moelis & Company;
Initial public offering of $2.375 billion by Ally Financial.
All three of the above IPOs occurred in 2014 – less than three years ago. A quick check of the prospectuses for the IPOs that were filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission shows that Clayton, as a law partner at Sullivan & Cromwell, was representing the underwriters in the offering, which include the largest Wall Street banks. Put the three deals together and you have 8 of the 10 largest banks on Wall Street being represented by the SEC nominee within the past three years. These are the same banks that are serially charged by the SEC for increasingly creative means of fleecing the public.
If that’s not enough to conflict Clayton out of consideration to Chair the SEC post, then conflicts of interest have lost all meaning within the legal lexicon of the United States.
According to the IPO for Alibaba, the underwriters were Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs Group Inc., JPMorgan Chase & Co., Morgan Stanley and Citigroup. The prospectus from Alibaba reads as follows:
We are being represented by Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP with respect to certain legal matters of United States federal securities and New York State law. The underwriters are being represented as to United States federal securities and New York State law matters by Sullivan & Cromwell LLP.
Lead underwriters in the Moelis IPO were Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley. The prospectus reads: “Sullivan & Cromwell LLP, New York, New York, is representing the underwriters in this offering.” . .