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Tagged Posts: Securities Law Update: SEC’s Broken Windows Enforcement’

Securities Law Update: SEC’s Broken Windows Enforcement

July 13, 2015

Broken Windows Policy – The Underlying Rationale

The term “broken windows” comes from an eponymous 1982 article in The Atlantic, which asserted that unaddressed disorder encourages more disorder, followed by more serious crimes.[1]  SEC Chairwoman Mary Jo White, who witnessed the transformation of New York City during the period of broken windows policing, took the lesson to heart.  On October 9, 2013, at the Securities Enforcement Forum, Ms. White said the same theory could be applied to the securities markets—minor violations that are overlooked or ignored can feed bigger ones, and, perhaps more importantly, can foster a culture where laws are increasingly treated as toothless guidelines.… Read the rest

Securities Law Update: SEC’s Broken Windows Enforcement

July 9, 2015


In the 1990s, former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani and Police Commissioner Bill Bratton adopted a policing strategy known as “broken windows” or “quality-of-life” to combat crimes.  The theory was that, when a window is broken and immediately fixed, it sends a signal that disorder will not be tolerated; similarly, when a broken window is not fixed, it suggests that no one cares and encourages more serious crimes.  Under the policy, the city pursued minor offenses like subway fare evasion and graffiti as vigorously as serious crimes like robberies, if not more so. … Read the rest

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