Meet the SEC's New Enforcement Unit Chief

Sunday, October 18, 2009 , , , , , , 25 Comments

Pic credit: Pee Wee's Big Adventure
(get it? come on, stay with me, people)

If, up until now, you have ignored me when I've gone off on anti-SEC rants, now might be the time to grab the flaming pitchfork and join me in calling for the end of inept regulation. The SEC is a posterchild for waste, corruption and ignorance and sadly the agency does not seem to be trying very hard to clean up its image with this little move.

The SEC's newest member is a 29 year old with a resume that includes Deloitte and - wait for it - Goldman Sachs. Yes, kids, the cat is permanently away and your "new normal" includes putting the criminals in charge of the prison.


The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission named Adam Storch, a 29-year-old from Goldman Sachs Group Inc.’s business intelligence unit, as the enforcement division’s first chief operating officer.

Storch, who joined the SEC Oct. 13, was named to the newly created post of managing executive in the enforcement unit, charged with making the division more efficient, the SEC said today in a statement. At New York-based Goldman Sachs, he had worked since 2004 in a unit at that reviewed contracts and transactions for signs of fraud.

“Adam’s skill in technology systems, workflow process, and project management will greatly benefit the division,” SEC enforcement chief Robert Khuzami said in the statement. “He will help to make us more efficient and nimble and permit us to put more of our investigators on the front lines.”

What do you mean "permit us," Mr Khuzami? Did Storch bring a permission slip from Goldman Sachs when he came over to the SEC? Dear Mr SEC, my child Adam Storch is allowed to regulate, when appropriate, and can also attend the field trip on 10/24/09. Sincerely, Mr Blankfein.

A 29 year old?! As a 28 year old myself let me tell you, this is beyond disheartening. We should not be in charge of anything, much less our nation's regulatory enforcement. We are a generation of self-centered, lazy morons (yeah I said it) and sure there are a few exceptions but for the most part, no one my age will do anything unless they get a pat on the head and a "good boy" gold star just for pissing in the toilet instead of on the floor. Looking at Storch's resume, I am guessing he's got the pissing in the toilet part down.

So that makes you wonder how the SEC plans to incentivize their new hire. Does he get to spend extra time on Facebook during the day? 4 day workweeks? Can he come to work in a tshirt and boxer shorts if he wants? Surely Mary Schapiro has been through "working with Gen Y" training? If not, she better hurry up and do it, she's got absolutely no idea what the SEC just set itself up for.

Storch holds degrees in accounting and finance from the State University of New York at Buffalo and studied at New York University’s Leonard N. Stern School of Business. He has certifications in accounting, fraud examination and auditing.

Before joining Goldman Sachs, Storch was a senior analyst at accounting firm Deloitte & Touche and an intern at Neuberger Berman LLC, a New York-based asset management firm.

Deloitte? Please, the Big 87654 are the Goldman Sachs of accounting. What certifications, Bloomberg? A CPA by itself means nothing, trust me, I work with them every day. Anyone with two brain cells to rub together who can figure out how to fool the system into thinking they know what they are doing can pass the CPA exam as long as they know how to digest information through their left brain.

It isn't even worth pointing out here that the SEC is stupid - pure and simple - for taking this guy on, credentials aside, surely the SEC has heard that the sheep are getting a tad pissed these days? It defies logic.

I like Skeptical CPA's idea (17 October 2009), The SEC is Hopeless, Kill It. I also like his reaction to Storch's hiring. Quote: "Hahahahahaha. Regulation? Hahahahahahaha."

I read something that called Storch the SEC's Boy Wonder. Really? If this is the best the SEC can do, what the hell are they still doing in business?

Storch climbed through the ranks to become "Vice President" of Goldman Sachs (or so says his LinkedIn) less than a decade after graduating high school? Pretty good for a kid from a state college. Guess it's all about who you know.

I'd like to point out here that Storch, like a majority of CPAs, only did his required 2 years in public accounting and bounced so his time and Deloitte doesn't really count. It's his time as Chief Executive Baby Vampire Squid that we might want to pay attention to.

Anyway. Bullshit as usual. Thanks, SEC, for sending a clear message that you just don't give a shit what we think nor whether or not we believe you are legit. This hire clears up any confusion on that front.

Update: WC Varones has an alternate interpretation of this press release. I am wont to point out here that "giant" might be a bit of an overstatement. In fact, one of Goldman's arguments against Taibbi's infamous RS article was that the "great" in great vampire squid (wrapped around the face of humanity... blah blah blah you know it by now) is in fact a misnomer. [Notice Goldman didn't argue that they weren't wrapped around the face of humanity]

The vampire squid is rather small, reaching a maximum of 13 cm ML (Nesis, 1982/7), and is very gelatinous; its consistency is that of a jellyfish. It occupies meso- to bathypelagic depths throughout the tropical and temperate regions of the world's oceans. The second pair of arms is modified into retractile filaments that can extend to lengths well in excess of the total length of the animal, and they can be retracted into pockets within the web. The filaments, presumably, have a sensory function.

So what I personally think is happening here is that Goldman has an issue with not being... great enough if you know what I mean. It's the same reason why guys buy Hummers. Think about it.

Thanks, WCV, for reminding us of that part of the story.

Update 2: Check out Storch's credentials as SEC enforcement COO, this AWESOME pro-Bill Clinton blog (via Wall Street Manna).

Jr Deputy Accountant

Some say he’s half man half fish, others say he’s more of a seventy/thirty split. Either way he’s a fishy bastard.


Anonymous said...

You're an idiot. This guy's been appointed as the COO of a division of the SEC. This is an admin/tech role, not an investigative one. The guys history is nothing too remarkable - being a VP at 29 at firm like GS is pretty common. Nothing to see here. Move along.


thanks for the thoughtful commentary but can you explain to me how anyone at the SEC is in an "investigative" role? Can you point me to some truly stellar SEC investigations in recent years?

That's what I thought.

As I said, kill the SEC. *you* are welcome to move along now.

I read the Bloomberg article too. In reading it and the SEC press release, I laughed. I keep laughing. I will prepare a post on this and give you a link. I also sent this to WCV.


W.C. Varones said...

Yeah, if the SEC were a real threat to anybody, Goldman would have sent in a more senior goon.

I had a different illustration.

Oh my fucking God, WCV, I'm going to have a stroke.

You're right, like I said, he did 2 years in public accounting. I *know* what sort of goon this is and he's no Hank Paulson. Pffft

LMFAO @ that picture.

W.C. Varones said...

JDA, while vampire squid are small in their natural state, they have been known to reach monster movie proportions when exposed to radioactive derivatives, leverage, and taxpayer bailouts.

CPA CPE said...

Appointing this goon can only mean one thing... they don't expect anything from him and did not want anyone who was capable of doing anything. They'll keep him busy for sure though.

Anonymous said...

Going to play devil's advocate here and wonder out loud if this dude knows something and that's why he's been workin' for the SEC for the past several months now? (I'm just assuming he's still there and hasn't been fired or taken an extended vacation right about now). Oooooh, the plot thickens.

Hey more news on Judge Babs (kidding - would not want this broad after me for any wrong doing)

She was tough off-hours, too. She became close friends with several other women in the United States attorney's office, including some who are now in private practice. To underscore their competitiveness, Ms. Jones and two friends from her days at the United States attorney's office - Sara Moss, now general counsel at Estée Lauder, and Mary Jo White, now a partner at Debevoise & Plimpton in New York - called themselves "the three Sids," after Sid Vicious, the bass player of the Sex Pistols, the punk rock group. The three were also fierce tennis rivals. Still close, they sometimes take vacations together.

Can't be all bad if she's a Sex Pistols fan.

God save the queen
The fascist regime
They made you a moron
Potential H-bomb

God save the queen
She ain't no human being
There is no future
In England's dreaming

Don't be told what you want
Don't be told what you need
There's no future, no future,
No future for you

God save the queen
We mean it man
We love our queen
God saves

God save the queen
'Cause tourists are money
And our figurehead
Is not what she seems

Oh God save history
God save your mad parade
Oh Lord God have mercy
All crimes are paid

When there's no future
How can there be sin
We're the flowers in the dustbin
We're the poison in your human machine
We're the future, your future

God save the queen
We mean it man
We love our queen
God saves

God save the queen
We mean it man
And there is no future
In England's dreaming

No future, no future,
No future for you
No future, no future,
No future for me

No future, no future,
No future for you
No future, no future
For you

Sound like anyone you know JDA? - you know I love you.

Anonymous said...

can you hear me now?

getting into their knickers always gets their attention. hahahaha!

Anonymous said...

I think it would be fun to see what the short interest in GS has been over the past six months or so. Oooooh, wouldn't it be absolutely creamy to know who was holding short positions on G.S.

Anonymous said...

Now don't go jumping on my fingers here JDA and TLP 'cause it is just my tin foil hat talking or maybe I saw Michael Mann's The Insider one time too many. Everything happens at a particular time for a reason.

Anonymous said...

Storch, who joined the SEC Oct. 13, was named to the newly created post of managing executive in the enforcement unit, charged with making the division more efficient, the SEC said today in a statement.

I wish to hell someone would name me to a newly created post bossing people around, ogling the secretarial pool and making lewd gestures, telling bullshit stories at the coffee pot, hiding out for three hour long liquid lunches... why can't I be happy????

cui bono cui bono cui bono

Anonymous said...

At New York-based Goldman Sachs, he had worked since 2004 in a unit at that reviewed contracts and transactions for signs of fraud.

well, hells bells. ain't that just a grand co-inky dink?

Anonymous said...

c'mon - put my damned comment up already! My narcissitic side LOVES seeing my words on the screen!

Anonymous said...

my rather large narcissistic side says thank you.

Anonymous said...

I was reading this today from Jesse’s Café Americain:

It is a dirty, shameful lapse in stewardship, and an overall failure in the upholding of oaths and responsibilities in public figures and officials. I have not seen anything like it since the Watergate trials which seemed to drag on interminably, and the scandalous behaviour and abuses that were exposed in the Nixon Administration. And it has only just begun to come out, but slowly. Because this time the US lacks a truly independent press that respects and investigates the evidence provided by whistle blowers, and is willing to question the sham explanations of the powerful insiders in the government and the financial sector. And no one in power is recording anything for posterity, at least not voluntarily.

This past weekend when we were having really shitty (thanks for the new word Sen. Levin!) weather in St. Louis and I couldn’t get out to bluegill fish (Spring is in the air), I went to kill time at the local Borders and started reading William Tecumseh Sherman’s biography. Jog your memory a little A:

Sherman was named Tecumseh after the Shawnee chieftain; as a boy Sherman was raised by family friends, who had him baptized as William... Sherman was a prolific writer and published a two-volume memoir in 1875... Unwilling to be drafted to run for president, Sherman is known for saying, "If nominated, I will not run. If elected, I will not serve."

On the eve of the civil war he was superintendent of a Louisiana military academy. (Later to become L.S.U. – yay! Go Tigers!)

Sherman's impact on American military history was substantial. He pushed warfare away from the increasingly old‐fashioned approach of masses of soldiers attacking in gigantic frontal assaults and toward the concept of war between entire societies: total war.

One of the things Sherman wrote pissing and moaning about in 1875 was about the withholding of documents and information from the War Department about the who’s, what’s and where’s of the Civil War. Ten years later in 1885, documentation still being withheld, he wrote that he hoped that documents that could shed light on the causes and facts of the war would be released before the next civil war broke out. But, the truth being a bitter pill, it should be noted that he re-wrote his own memoirs prior to publishing because of fear of controversy. In 1885 he said that his desire for the release of the information was so that if we knew what caused and perpetuated the last war, a second one might be avoided.

There's been an awful lot of food for thought over the past two days. I was blissfully absent for a day of bluegill fishing yesterday and shall be for many more in the coming weeks. I can hardly wait to come back to see what has developed!

Anonymous said...
called "the stench of truth"

This must be months old. The guy is going bananas over the old Storch news going to work at the SEC months ago and he just sees the negative. Is it just me who tries to make lemmonade when handed lemmons? That's why I'm called Mr. Sunshine here in my office. I can't imagine G.S. hiring and then holding on to a complete blathering idiot for five years. I don't think Khuzami is an idiot so he must have thought that he had some use for this guy back last year when he created a job for him, got him his very own desk name plate that matched the plate on the office door, held the "Welcome Adam" lunch time office party for him complete with sheet cake Mrs. Khuzami made the night before and coffee he picked up just for the occasion down at the local World Market, got him his very own SEC coffee mug and matching golf cap with the initials A.S. embroidered on the back, and showed him where the SEC head was at, etc. Maybe I should just take off my rose colored glasses and loathe the very air that Obama breathes.

OK, really.... Democratic Chicago politicians are ruthless and they are reptillian in that they are are not above eating each other. This makes Barry the King Lizzard of Cook County but sometimes, for some situations you need a King Lizzard of Cook County.

The Tar Baby is Goldman's hubris. I think that Eric Holder is Br'er Bear and his mighty club is a DOJ investigation looming over Br'er Rabbit's pointy little head. Br'er Rabbit is Lloyd and Co. Br'er Fox is Khuzami. But, in a perfect world the story ends differently.

Being "thrown into the briar patch" is escaping Br'er Bear who really, really, really wants to "knock his head clean off" - DOJ investigation? Say goodbye to dealing with all those pension funds for a long time, maybe forever.

Fox should lead Rabbit to think that he's going to escape Bear's club if he co-operates. Rabbit fearing the club co-operates, Storch points to areas of "concern", G.S. gives SEC what they want, big fine, etc.

Fox double crosses Rabbit and hands him over to Bear to get the clubbing he so richly deserves. When (or if) DOJ starts poking around, they are bound to find something and Storch probably can point them to the likely areas there as well. Maybe this bleeds over into some spineless ratings agencies getting a look at as well.

Just prognosticating... I know I shouldn't assume 'cause to assume makes an ass out of you and me.

Anonymous said...

Yikes, just watched the whole thing and the dude comes completely unglued.

Middle aged dude, receding hairline talking to a camera in a basement while wearing TWO FRICKIN' EARRINGS and going completely nuts about something he has no control over - yikes. Here I thought I was crazy.

Anonymous said...

It's called "The Stench of Truth"

yeah right and I work at the League of Justice with other Superfriends and go home each evening to the Fortress of Solitude.

Anonymous said...

I was pretty sure I misspelled lemonade and lemons and lizard putting in an extra "m" and "z" and lo and behold, I did.

Anonymous said...

So, I'm trying to find out what Mr. Storch has been up to for the past year or so. He enjoyed Mrs. Khuzami's sheet cake, has worn his snappy SEC golfing hat with his initials embroidered on the back and has been be-bopping around the office... but there isn't anything except for this over at Zero Hedge and nothing else.... not a peep....

It's quiet.....too quiet......

Anonymous said...

gone but not forgotten, this is the story of the Johnny Rotten

I've heard of the wheels of justice turning slowing but that's ridiculous

Anonymous said...

In addition to being a bean counter, Adam's got a background in fraud examinations. Ain't that a coinky dink? I know, I know - it looks like he only shaves twice a week and he's got a Transformers lunch box but everybody was young once - even the Smug Bastard. C'mon Adam, I'm rooting for you son. You can make your bones in this Target Rich Environment. You gotta have a little faith after all, who duh thunk you'd end up in DC gettin' your Squish on with TLP just a few short years ago?

Anonymous said...
Anonymous said...

like I said: A Target Rich Environment have a little faith in me, have a little faith in me