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Net Net: Promoting innovation and managing change

SEC lifer: We're way too soft on Wall Street

Joshua Roberts | Bloomberg | Getty Images

A nearly 30-year employee of the Securities and Exchange Commission used his recent retirement party to deliver a stinging criticism of his agency being too "tentative and fearful" of prosecuting senior executives on Wall Street following the financial crisis, according to a report.

James Kidney, who joined the SEC in 1986 and retired this April, said the SEC has become "an agency that polices the broken windows on the street level and rarely goes to the penthouse floors," according to the Bloomberg report.

Kidney said his superiors were "more focused on getting high-paying jobs after their government service than on bringing difficult cases," according to the report.