The SEC proudly announced on Thursday what is perhaps the first ever double revolving door in SEC history: It has had hired a former Goldman worker as its new chief of staff, who before Goldman had previously worked at... the SEC. We literally can't make this stuff up.
According to the SEC:
The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced that Andrew J. “Buddy” Donohue has been named the agency’s chief of staff. Mr. Donohue will replace Lona Nallengara who will leave the agency in June.
As chief of staff, Mr. Donohue will be a senior adviser to the Chair on all policy, management, and regulatory issues.
SEC Chair Mary Jo White, in the usual scripted announcement, said “I am thrilled that Buddy will be returning to the SEC to provide his extensive knowledge and expertise to the agency,”
“Buddy is a seasoned professional whose previous SEC and private sector experience will be invaluable in advancing all aspects of the agency’s mission. His deep knowledge of asset management will be especially useful as the Commission advances its rulemaking agenda for addressing potential risks in asset management and considers a uniform fiduciary standard.”
But what's troubling is that Mr. Donohue has been managing director, associate general counsel, and investment company general counsel at Goldman, Sachs & Co, a bank with a deep criminal history that has, through massive political connection, avoided prosecution despite stealing billions from American taxpayers through a variety of sophisticated criminal schemes.
Donohue is the latest in a long line of Goldmanites to leave the firm in order to advance its agenda.
His appointment raises a serious question: Can he possibly regulate his former employer with his blatantly obvious conflict of interest? Can he even avoid leaking SEC secrets to powerful old friends who made him filthy rich?
We doubt very much he can.