Year Started At POGO: 2006 as an intern
Areas of expertise: Financial Sector Oversight, Revolving Door Conflicts of Interest, Federal Advisory Committees
Michael Smallberg focuses on the government's oversight of the financial services industry. Smallberg has contributed to POGO’s reports, testimony, letters, public comments, and blog posts on issues such as the revolving door, bailout contractor conflicts of interest, and excessive secrecy at financial regulatory agencies. Prior to joining POGO in 2006, Smallberg interned at the National Archives. He earned a B.A. in American History from Brown University. Smallberg has appeared on CNN and been quoted in The New York Times, The Washington Post, and The Wall Street Journal.
- Authored POGO's report, Revolving Regulators: SEC Faces Ethics Challenges with Revolving Door, which explored the cozy ties between the Securities and Exchange Commission and Wall Street
- Contributed to POGO's testimony on excessive secrecy at the SEC, which led to the repeal of legislation that had given the agency sweeping new powers to withhold records from the public
- Authored POGO's report, Easy Money: Top Five Recommendations for Increasing Revenue and Cutting Costs
Major corporations make it financially advantageous for executives to take government jobs, according to regulatory filings reviewed by POGO. Through their compensation policies, companies may be fueling the revolving door.
A revolving door blurs the lines between one of the nation’s most important regulatory agencies and the interests it regulates. Former employees of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) routinely help corporations try to influence SEC rulemaking, counter the agency’s investigations of suspected wrongdoing, soften the blow of SEC enforcement actions, block shareholder proposals, and win exemptions from federal law. POGO’s report examines many manifestations of the revolving door, analyzes how the revolving door can influence the SEC, and explores how to mitigate the most harmful effects.
POGO Report - Dangerous Liaisons: Revolving Door at SEC Creates Risk of Regulatory Capture, February 11, 2013, Overview
POGO Report - Dangerous Liaisons: Revolving Door at SEC Creates Risk of Regulatory Capture, February 11, 2013, Part 5 and 6
POGO Report - Dangerous Liaisons: Revolving Door at SEC Creates Risk of Regulatory Capture, February 11, 2013, Part 1: Money Market Meltdown - A Case Study
POGO Report - Dangerous Liaisons: Revolving Door at SEC Creates Risk of Regulatory Capture, February 11, 2013, Scores of SEC Alumni Go to Bat for SEC-Regulated Companies
POGO Report - Dangerous Liaisons: Revolving Door at SEC Creates Risk of Regulatory Capture, February 11, 2013, Looking Outside the SEC, Conclusion, Recommendations
POGO Report - Dangerous Liaisons: Revolving Door at SEC Creates Risk of Regulatory Capture, February 11, 2013, Revolving Door Rules Apply Unevenly and Revolving in the Dark
We appreciate your oversight of the federal agencies that regulate the swaps and futures markets, especially in light of the massive customer losses at MF Global and Peregrine Financial Group. As you explore opportunities for improving the regulation of these markets, we urge you to reconsider the government’s reliance on private self-regulatory organizations (SROs) such as the National Futures Association (NFA).
POGO has joined others in raising serious concerns about the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), the largest self-regulatory organization (SRO) for the securities industry. FINRA’s regulatory effectiveness is undermined by its inherent conflicts of interest, its lack of transparency and accountability, its lobbying expenditures, and its executive compensation packages, among other issues. A recent analysis by the Boston Consulting Group underscored the costs associated with authorizing FINRA or a new SRO to regulate investment advisers. For these reasons, we oppose H.R. 4624, which would authorize one or more SROs to oversee the investment adviser industry.
The Project On Government Oversight (POGO) would like to provide the following public comment to the Assembly of the Administrative Conference of the United States (ACUS) regarding the proposed recommendation dealing with the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA).
POGO has obtained five years’ worth of statements filed by former Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) employees who appeared before the SEC seeking to represent outside clients within two years after leaving government. POGO has also made these post-employment statements publicly available in a searchable online database. This report provides an overview of the information disclosed in these statements, and examines the SEC’s oversight of former employees who go through the revolving door.
As an independent watchdog that champions good government reforms, POGO has a keen interest in ensuring that our nation’s financial regulatory watchdogs—including self-regulatory organizations (SROs) such as FINRA, which currently oversees over 4,600 brokerage firms operating in the U.S.—are operating with sufficient transparency and accountability to their members, investors, and taxpayers.
Years after the government accused Fannie Mae of accounting fraud, are taxpayers being forced to pay the price?
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced Monday that it has tapped a Wall Street lawyer, Andrew Ceresney, to police Wall Street. By relying so heavily on people with industry connections, the SEC can tangle itself in conflicts of interest.
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has proposed regulations that would “hamstring” its whistleblower program, according to Senator Charles Grassley (R-IA), a longtime champion of whistleblowers.
Mary Jo White—Obama’s nominee for chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission—said at her confirmation hearing that the public need not worry about her history of defending companies from the government. But her explanation was less than reassuring.
Is Mary Jo White—President Obama’s nominee to head the Securities and Exchange Commission—an intrepid enforcer who will hold Wall Street accountable? Or will she look out for the financial industry she used to represent?
A group of panelists convened at The New York City Bar Association last week to discuss "The Financial Crisis and the ‘Revolving Door" and a POGO report about the revolving door at the Securities and Exchange Commission.
U.S. taxpayers "continue to be at risk" from government bailout programs' reliance on a global interest rate called LIBOR, the Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program (SIGTARP) said in a report.
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)—a federal regulator that polices recordkeeping on Wall Street, among other things—has failed to properly handle its own records, according to a recent audit by the agency's inspector general (IG).
The Internal Revenue Service has awarded $104 million to Bradley Birkenfeld, the former UBS banker who blew the whistle on the Swiss bank’s efforts to help Americans evade taxes.
Amid a sweeping overhaul of Wall Street regulation, JPMorgan Chase, the banking powerhouse, has often deployed former government officials to represent it in Washington.
As part of Sunshine Week, a national initiative to highlight the importance of open government and freedom of information, POGO is releasing a host records obtained by the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).