Compliance Bricks and Mortar for March 15

too big to fail

The card above comes courtesy of the House Financial Services Committee lamenting the failure to prosecute individuals and companies in the financial industry. Last week Chairman Hensarling and Oversight & Investigations Subcommittee Chairman McHenry sent a letter to Attorney General Holder and Treasury Secretary Lew seeking any and all documents related to the consideration of economic factors in the decision to prosecute large banks for financial crimes. The committee’s investigation comes out of Mr. Holder’s recent comments at a Senate Judiciary Committee Hearing in which the Attorney General suggested some large financial institutions are now “too big to jail.”

Here are some of the other compliance related stories that recently caught my attention:

Lessons from Bill Belichick for the Compliance Practitioner by Tom Fox

One of the things that struck me about the Belichick player evaluation system and how it was used by all three men for their respective teams is that is a building block system. It takes a system and builds that system, building block by building block until the overall system is completed. This is then fine-tuned and updated through continuous monitoring, assessment and review. For the compliance practitioner, I found this approach to have several valuable lessons.

BEA Reporting for Fund Managers: the SEC is not the only regulator gathering investment-related data in the Hedge Fund Law Blog

The BEA collects data on U.S. direct investment abroad, among other mandates. Its tools include Form BEA-11 (“BEA-11”) for U.S. persons that have ownership interests in foreign affiliates. Historically, these filings received almost no attention. Enforcement of the filing requirements was rare, but is expected to increase following the BEA’s announcement in May of 2012 that it would be more vigilant. [Note: Enforcement penalties include civil and criminal fines and even imprisonment for failure to file.]

JPMorgan Hid Trades Banned by Volcker Rule, Senate Probe Finds by Cheyenne Hopkins in Bloomberg

JPMorgan Chase & Co. engaged in high-risk proprietary trading under the guise of ordinary hedging, said Senate investigators, who urged U.S. regulators to strengthen the proposed ban on such trades known as the Volcker rule. Regulators should require banks that hold federally insured deposits to explicitly link positions in derivatives to the underlying risk they are hedging, the Senate’s Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations recommended in a 300-page report released yesterday.

Anti-Corruption Enthusiasts, We Need Your Help! by Matt Kelly in Compliance Week

Calling all FCPA and anti-corruption enthusiasts, Compliance Week needs your help! Compliance Week and Kroll Advisory have teamed up to undertake a major survey on corporate anti-corruption programs, and we’re asking compliance executives to participate. The survey itself—the 2013 “Global Anti-Bribery Benchmarking Report”—can be found here:

This Is Not a Story About Last Place by Jason Gay in the Wall Street Journal

This is a story about a guy who finished last. Which is technically true. You can look up the results of the race, and you’ll see his name, right there, lonely at the bottom. Taylor Phinney. USA. Finishing time of six hours, twenty-two minutes, fifty-four seconds. One hundred-and-ninth place. Last.

But this story is better than that.