A Million-Dollar Message

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The discussions about whether free will is real or not might never end, but the human inclination towards freedom continues to remain as strong as it was before. If anything, it has only grown with time. Now, while our attachment to the concept is unquestionable, we haven’t really, so far, made a good use of it. In fact, many human beings have shaped this freedom into a mere facilitator of their unethical activities. Such a dynamic would prompt the world to tighten up a little in how they deal with these activities, and one big by-product that emerges from the said shift will be the introduction of dedicated regulatory bodies. By establishing a supervisory eye across all major areas, we brought in more order and efficiency within the core operations, therefore contributing significantly towards improving our lives’ quality. However, it didn’t pan out entirely the way we desired. You see, while putting-together the regulation concept, we conveniently forgot to anticipate the very likely possibility of rule evasion. The consequences were expectantly bad, but they will get even worse when technology turns up on the block. All regulatory bodies were quickly disarmed on the back of technology’s generational capabilities, and the odds have pretty much been in that same state since then. Nevertheless, with an enhanced tech knowhow, the regulatory industry is now planning to launch a fight back and take their rightful authority back. This newfound aggressive approach was on full display during a recent judgment involving JPMorgan Chase.

The Securities and Exchange Commission has officially fined JPMorgan Chase a sum worth $125 million for violating federal record-keeping laws. According to some reports concerning the case, JPMorgan tried bypassing the regulatory eye by conducting official communications over WhatsApp and other personal devices. Apart from the SEC-imposed penalty, the bank will also pay another $75 million to settle a similar CTFC probe, which concluded JPMorgan used “unauthorized communication methods”, and deliberately decided against keeping an archive of employee interactions. Interestingly enough, CTFC also discovered that the bank indulged in the said activity for over 6 years before finally getting caught.

“As technology changes, it’s even more important that registrants ensure that their communications are appropriately recorded and are not conducted outside of official channels in order to avoid market oversight,” stated Gary Gensler, SEC Chairman.

The fine from SEC will go down as the biggest one in relation to record-keeping cases. It is seemingly intended to send a strong message to other financial firms about the regulator’s seriousness with this issue. However, even though taking corrective measures against JPMorgan was a big deal, the Commission accepts that violations of comparable nature are currently occurring all over the place, hence achieving a clean room could be a lengthy battle.

 

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