- Recent career transitions of two senior SEC officials, amid the ongoing Ripple lawsuit, raise questions about potential conflicts of interest.
- The high-profile exits, veiled in perceived biases, escalate calls for ethics reforms, urging a re-evaluation of the SEC’s stance towards the cryptocurrency sphere.
The Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) ongoing legal confrontation with blockchain pioneer Ripple has found itself under a harsher spotlight, following a flurry of tweets delineating the concerning career shifts of key SEC officials. These transitions appear to nestle within a grey zone of ethical propriety, subsequently casting a shadow of doubt over the impartiality of the regulatory body in its litigation against Ripple.
Eye of the Storm: Officials’ Exits Stoke Concerns
The tweets underscore the swift exits of Marc Berger and Dalia Blass, two instrumental figures in the SEC’s lawsuit against Ripple. Marc Berger vacated his position as the Acting Enforcement Director in December 2022, shortly following the SEC’s initiation of legal proceedings against Ripple, to join the distinguished law firm Simpson Thacher. Here, Berger has assumed the role of co-head in its government investigations practice.
🚨 🚨 🚨
Just 4 months after the #SEC filed suit against @Ripple, Marc Berger leaves his acting Enforcement Director job & heads to Simpson Thacher. No big deal. He is now Global Co-Head of Simpson Thacher’s Government & Internal Investigations & is ex Partner at Ropes & Gray.… https://t.co/5ydgCE2PuD pic.twitter.com/dJfvFE6laq
— Cowboy.Crypto ☀️ (@cowboycrypto313) September 27, 2023
Similarly, in April 2023, Dalia Blass exited the SEC, transitioning from her roles as the head of the Division of Investment Management and Investment Management Policy to partner at Sullivan & Cromwell. This firm also houses former SEC chair Jay Clayton as a senior policy advisor.
These back-to-back transitions, dubbed as revolving-door staff changes, have rekindled allegations about improper industry affiliations within the SEC, especially at a critical juncture of its lawsuit against Ripple. The crux of concern hinges on the alleged biased nature of the SEC’s pursuit, which is viewed by some as an aggressive stance towards a burgeoning sector of blockchain-based assets.
Before their tenure at the SEC, both Berger and Blass were deeply entrenched within Wall Street law circles. Their rapid shifts back to the private sector post their SEC stint not only reinforce suspicions around the SEC’s impartiality but also amplify calls for a revaluation of ethics within this pivotal regulatory body.
As the Ripple case approaches a critical inflection point, the skepticism surrounding the SEC’s motives intensifies. Amid this turbulent backdrop, the clamor for ethics reforms and a more balanced crypto oversight is expected to reverberate through the corridors of regulatory and cryptocurrency communities alike.