Fines imposed by regulators against financial institutions continued to set new records in 2013. Pundits and op-ed pieces are clamoring for even higher penalties. Yet “the highest fine ever” often appears to have little to do with “the worst conduct ever.” Other factors arguably are driving fines up. Moreover, our research and experience suggests that imposing the largest possible fines is a poor policy choice. It is not an effective deterrent, it is not a targeted way to punish for wrongdoing, and it likely harms long-term buy-and-hold investors.

Please join Andy Pincus and Alex Lakatos as they discuss these trends, potentially superior alternatives to the “mega-fine,” and a path toward more rational policies.

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