The collapse of Wall Street a few years back and the so-called Great Recession that followed were, it's generally agreed, pretty bad things. As investment banks began to fail and the Dow fell, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) found itself in the uncomfortable position of having to explain how this had happened on its watch. It seems logical to think the top brass at the federal watchdog would have spent their time furiously searching for an explanation as to what had happened, while simultaneously trying to explain how they missed it.
As it turns out, that's not quite true. The SEC recently completed
an investigation into the web surfing habits of its employees and discovered that "33 SEC employees or contractors violated COmmission rules and politics...by viewing pornographic, sexually explicit, or sexually suggestive images using government resources and official time." Of the 33 employees, 17 of them were classified as grade SK-14 or above, meaning they earned salaries of $99,356-$222,418 a year. The SEC details some of what it found on individuals' computers, including the tale of one fellow who has what any psychologist would call a serious problem.
A Headquarters Senior Attorney admitted accessing Internet pornography and downloading pornographic images to his SEC computer during work hours so frequently that, on some days, he spent eight hours accessing Internet pornography. In fact, this attorney downloaded so much pornography to his government computer that he exhausted the available space on the computer hard drive and downloaded pornography to CDs or DVDs that he accumulated in boxes in his office. The Money Shot
Discovering that some of your employees/co-workers watch porn while they're supposed to be working isn't exactly news, no matter where you work. The poor oversexed saps at the SEC, however, happened to choose the worst possible time imaginable to indulge their flights of fancy. While the Dow was doing this:
Our hard-working, determined, focused federal investigators were watching this:
Naughty, naughty. And we know some of you are eying the Twi'lek.
Attractive as these three ladies might be, they aren't sporting the sorts of curves Wall Street's watchdog is actually supposed to watch. It's convenient that this particular document surfaced immediately after the SEC filed suit against Goldman-Sachs, but there's no proof yet of a connection. The unanswered question in all of this is how a person—any person—manages to retain a job longer than a month when their weekly activities include watching porn for eight hours a day.
Did this widespread distraction contribute to the actual crash in any way? Hard to say. Even if it didn't, it's hard to stomach that the federal guard dog wasn't just asleep—it was spending time with Trixie the poodle two doors down.