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The Daily

SEC On the Prowl at Conferences

Chris Gaetano
Published Date:
May 26, 2016
SECURITIES-AND-EXCHANGE-COMMISSION-facebookConferences are great places to reconnect with old colleagues, make new networking contacts and keep up with the latest industry gossip--and, if you're the SEC, to catch signs of possible securities law violations, according to Bloomberg. But before you worry about whether that charming bond trader you've been talking to is really a federal agent, relax: Bloomberg says that they have no intention of going undercover at these events, as they fully identify themselves with big, visible badges as they engage in sometimes not-so-idle chit-chat with industry insiders.

This practice, which has grown in the years since the Bernie Madoff scandal caught them flat-footed, is more about getting the lay of the land and learning who the significant players so regulators can get a better sense of the market's current state. Beyond simple networking, Bloomberg reports that the SEC has been looking at attendance lists for these conferences and reaching out beforehand to arrange private meetings where they can candidly discuss behaviors that may view as inappropriate.