Nov 4, 2018

Penalties against misbehaving corporations have dropped under Trump

Photo: Robert Alexander via Getty Images

Corporations in the Trump era have not faced the same level of policing by the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Justice Department that they did under the Obama administration, an investigation by the New York Times has revealed.

The big picture: Government data shows that across the board, there has been a sharp decline in financial penalties against banks and corporations accused of misconduct. According to the Times, this mirrors the Trump administration's approach to rolling back regulations and belief that corporate penalties "unfairly punish a company’s shareholders for the misconduct of employees."

By the numbers: In the first 20 months of the Trump administration, compared to the last 20 months of the Obama administration ...

  • SEC penalties and illicit profits returned dropped from $5 billion to $1.9 billion, a decline of 62%.
  • Penalties from the Justice Department's criminal prosecutions dropped from $14.15 billion to $3.93 billion, or 72%.
  • The Justice Department brought just 17 cases of misconduct by the banking industry, down from 71.

Go deeper:

Go deeper

Tech can't remember what to do in a down market

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

Wall Street's two-day-old coronavirus crash is a wakeup alarm for Silicon Valley.

The big picture: Tech has been booming for so long the industry barely remembers what a down market feels like — and most companies are ill-prepared for one.

Brace yourself for a coronavirus outbreak

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Public-health officials’ warnings about the coronavirus are sounding increasingly urgent, with one top CDC official asking the public yesterday "to prepare for the expectation that this might be bad."

Reality check: Other administration officials, including President Trump himself, were more subdued in their assessments. But underneath those tonal differences, the reality of the coronavirus is the same: It spreads quickly, and has already spread to many countries, making it likely to start spreading here, too.

Go deeperArrow43 mins ago - Health

Exclusive: Pro-Trump group plans post-Super Tuesday blitz on Democrats

Democratic presidential hopefuls take the debate stage in South Carolina. Photo: Logan Cyrus/AFP via Getty Images

Pro-Trump super PAC America First Action is preparing to unleash a series of targeted, swing-state attacks on the Democrats most likely to face President Trump after Super Tuesday, people familiar with the group's plans tell me in an exclusive preview of its strategy.

The state of play: The group has been tracking favorable/unfavorable ratings in Florida, Georgia, Michigan, North Carolina, Ohio and Pennsylvania for 2020 candidates Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Pete Buttigieg and Michael Bloomberg — under the theory that if Trump wins each of these six states he would win re-election.