"You only find out who is swimming naked when the tide goes out," wrote Warren Buffett. He was talking about the recession in 2002, but it also describes the lives of prosecutors and regulators following the financial meltdown in 2008. Now that markets and the economy are rebounding and the tide is rising, will the white-collar watchdogs get a rest in 2014?
Don't bet on it.
Cybercrime, corruption and mortgage fraud are still alive and kicking. And the new year will bring new frontiers. Here are four predictions from the corporate crime beat for 2014.
(More predictions: The Battle of 2014: A shrinking defense industry)
New sheriff in town
After five years marked by a variety of controversies, look for Attorney General Eric Holder to step down soon. Holder has had some notable successes in white-collar enforcement, but in that realm he may be best remembered for Senate testimony last March—which he says was taken out of context—that some banks have become too big to prosecute.
Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara has been mentioned as a possible replacement, but don't bet on it. No question he has the chops, and those who know him say he is ambitious. But he doesn't need to burnish his law-enforcement credentials, nor does he need the headaches (and controversy) that come with the top job.