The Wall Street Journal’s Headline — and Mine
According to The Wall Street Journal, the Securities and Exchange Commission just nailed hedge fund SAC Capital with the biggest-ever fine for insider trading — $616 million, to be exact.
Here’s The Journal’s headline:
“SAC Hit With Record Insider Penalty”
—The Wall Street Journal; March 15, 2013
Sure sounds like a lot of dough, huh?
And nice to see justice finally being done, right?
$616 Million Wrist Slap
You’d certainly think so — at least until you understood the world of modern-day hedge funds and the ginormous amounts of capital they invest.
And not incidentally, pocket in fees.
Consider your response to SAC’s transgression(s) if instead the headline were:
“Hedge Fund Nets Billions on Insider Trading,
Gets Off With Wrist Slap”
Sadly, that’s what you call a $616 million fine in the context of multi-billions in profit.
With no jail time.
And not even an admission of guilt.
As is routine in such cases, SAC Capital “neither admitted nor denied wrongdoing.”