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Under Trump, Corporate Giants See Massive Drop in Penalties: NYT

New investigation by Times shows big business, Wall Street avoiding billions in fines thanks to Trump's deregulatory agenda

The Securities and Exchange Commission headquarters in Washington, D.C.

The Securities and Exchange Commission headquarters in Washington, D.C. (Photo: AgnosticPreachersKid/CC BY-SA 3.0)

A new investigation published by the New York Times finds that "corporate wrongdoers" have seen a massive drop in financial penalties with Trump at the White House.

The analysis, based on government data and interviews with current and former federal officials, looked at how enforcement has been carried out by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and Justice Department, comparing the first 20 months of the Trump administration with the last 20 months of the Obama administration.

Among the findings:

  • There were $5 billion in penalties imposed and illicit profits ordered returned by the SEC under Obama but just $1.9 billion under the Trump administration, marking a 62 percent decline.
  • Corporate penalties from the Justice Department's criminal prosecutions dropped from $14.15 billion under Obama to $3.93 billion under Trump, marking a 72 percent drop.

"With the exception of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission," reported Ben Protess, Robert Gebeloff, and Danielle Ivory, "the new approach extends across the federal financial enforcement regime."

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