According to the Wall Street Journal, the amount of penalties imposed by the SEC, FINRA and the CFTC have plummeted in the first half of 2017 in comparison to the first half of 2016. Regulators are on track for the lowest annual level of fines since at least 2010. Fine amounts have dropped from $1.4 billion in the first half of 2016 compared to $489 million for the first half of 2017. The deregulatory, hands off approach of the Trump administration is one major reason for this drop. SEC chairman Jay Clayton has previously expressed concern about the size of corporate fines, arguing they have hurt shareholders. Another reason is Wall Street’s successful lobbying of FINRA to reduce the size of the fines imposed. The seeds for the next bubble that devastate millions of investors are being planted.
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