SEC = Securities Executive Club

Many people are now convinced that the SEC lets white collar criminals get away with murder. For example, the Wall Street Journal recently reported that "Rattner Near Deal to Settle SEC Case."

A settlement with the SEC and a ban on his participation in the securities business would represent a comedown for Mr. Rattner, who rose to the number two spot at Lazard Freres before leaving to co-found a private-equity firm that ended up ensnared in a pay-to-play probe.

Just this week, Wall Streeters toasted Mr. Rattner at a party at the Four Seasons restaurant in New York for the publication of his book on the auto bailout. The Wall Street Journal reports that amongst those in attendance at Rattner's party were Mike Bloomberg, Bob Rubin and New York Times' publisher Arthur Sulzberger Jr.

For more than a year, Mr. Rattner has been dogged by a pay-to-play probe, which has focused on allegations that state officials and others traded access to business from the roughly $125 billion fund in exchange for kickbacks, political favors and personal benefits.

I always find it interesting to scan comments to news articles. One commenter to this Wall Street Journal article cleverly refers to the SEC as the "Securities Executive Club"!