New SEC General Counsel Dan Berkovitz paid more than $2M from Citadel and Banks

New SEC General Counsel Dan Berkovitz paid more than $2M from Citadel and Banks

The new SEC General Counsel, Dan Berkovitz, has received over $2M from the banking establishment, including Ken Griffin’s Citadel LLC in the latest completely not-remotely-suspect appointment of the golden revolving door between big business and the government regulator.

According to its mission statement, the SEC is supposed to protect investors; maintain fair, orderly, and efficient markets; and facilitate capital formation. Let’s be clear about how this works in practice…. Get a load of people who’ve spent years and years making shit tons of money working for financial institutions who’s track record of behaving with integrity is on a par with Vlad the Impaler, and make sure there is a revolving door between the regulator and these very same institutions which they are supposed to provide oversight for. And then, these very same people after a little while of spending ages lightly slapping the wrists of their former bosses when they do illegal things, get nice cushy well paid jobs back at the same financial institutions. Rinse and repeat.

There. Clear now? Absolutely NO conflict of interest whatsoever.

Who is Dan Berkovitz?

Berkovitz was previously the General Counsel at the Commodities Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), which at the time was chaired by one Gary Gensler from 2009 to 2013. After leaving the CFTC, Dan went immediately to work for the very same organisations he had previously been charged with oversight of as a partner at WilmerHale, a huge law firm which deals with IP, Securities and a range of different blue chip industries.

During his time there, he received income totalling almost $2M, with payments coming from banks and financial institutions with exemplary track records of never doing anything remotely wrong… Such as Citadel, JP Morgan, Barclays, Citigroup, Morgan Stanley and Bloomberg to name but a few.

After this stint with WilmerHale, he went back to the CFTC, but didn’t stay too long, and on November 1 2021 he went back to rejoin his old boss Gary Gensler at the SEC.

According to Trustnodes, Dan Berkovitz own disclosure ‘does not specify just how much he received from any of the banks, with Berkovitz seemingly running his own workload under the umbrella of WilmerHale, thus was effectively receiving payment directly from these financial institutions’.

Here’s a list of Dan Berkovitz former compensation sources, and if you’re really into the details, you can download his entire Public Financial Disclosure Report here.

  • Abu Dhabi Investment Authority Legal services (client of WilmerHale).
  • Alcoa Legal services (client of WilmerHale)
  • Andreessen Horowitz Legal services (client of WilmerHale).
  • Aston Capital Management Legal services (client of WilmerHale).
  • BGC Financial, LP Legal services (client of WilmerHale).
  • Barclays Financial Corp. Legal services (client of WilmerHale).
  • Bloomberg, LP Legal services (client of WilmerHale).
  • Chicago Board Options Exchange, Inc. Legal services (client of WilmerHale).
  • Citadel, LLC Legal services (client of WilmerHale).
  • Citigroup, Inc. Legal services (client of WilmerHale).
  • Currencies Direct Holdings, Ltd. Legal services (client of WilmerHale).
  • Georgetown University Law Center Teach class in derivatives regulation.
  • Intercontinental Exchange, Inc. Legal services (client of WilmerHale).
  • JPMorgan Chase & Co. Legal services (client of WilmerHale).
  • Monex Deposit Company Legal services (client of WilmerHale).
  • Morgan Stanley Legal services (client of WilmerHale).
  • One Confidential Client/individual/ non- public investigation Legal services (client of WilmerHale).
  • Seed CX Ltd. Legal services (client of WilmerHale).
  • StockX Legal services (client of WilmerHale).
  • UBS Financial Services Inc. Legal services (client of WilmerHale).
  • Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP (“WilmerHale”) Partner, provide legal services to clients.

Quite a nice job, if you can get it… and certainly very lucrative. Well done Dan!

Dan Berkovitz doesn’t like DeFi

In June 2021, Berkovitz made a statement before the FIA and SIFMA-AMC, Asset Management Derivatives Forum in an interestingly named Keynote speech called “Climate Change and Decentralized Finance: New Challenges for the CFTC”, with part of it absolutely in no way a conflict of interest, honest, guv. He said:

“A threshold question is whether the public will benefit from disrupting the current financial system that relies extensively on financial intermediaries….

Intermediaries such as banks, exchanges, futures commission merchants, payment clearing facilities, and asset managers—such as many of you at this conference—have developed over the past two or three hundred years of modern banking and finance to reliably provide critical financial services to support the financial markets and the investing public… 

Intermediaries provide information, analyses, and advice to the public seeking access to financial markets.”

Dan Berkovitz, Keynote Address, Climate Change and Decentralized Finance: New Challenges for the CFTC

In a nutshell, his speech can be simplified as “DeFi bad because um no regulation…We need more regulation by people like me, who move between working for the regulator and working for the big finance boys, and we can absolutely be trusted to make good decisions on your behalf, because you’re too thick to understand peon”

Once again, the SEC employs someone who is very rich, very connected to the dodgiest financial institutions on the planet, and who thinks more regulation is a good thing, especially in the crypto space, because you just can’t be trusted with your own money.