'SOB' bankers should be punished: Wall St watchers

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Banks vs. regulators

How do you improve the culture of Wall Street and restore faith in finance? Personally punish the industry's bad apples, according to two longtime observers.

"I think we need to personalize the penalties for those who are sinners. It's got to hurt them individually," Charles Ellis, a prominent investment consultant and author, said at an event this week in New York on improving the financial industry.

Ellis, who founded institutional advisor Greenwich Associates, said that new laws after the financial crisis didn't go far enough because companies—usually via public stock owners—still pay penalties for misbehavior, not people.

"We've got to get past the idea of sending it against shareholders and writing it off the balance sheet," Ellis said.