"Senators are planning to introduce a bipartisan bill on Monday to give the country's securities regulator the authority to seek tougher fines for alleged Wall Street criminals.
The bill, sponsored by Rhode Island Democrat Jack Reed and Iowa Republican Chuck Grassley, would boost the penalties that the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission can seek from firms and individuals accused of wrongdoing and triple the cap on funds the agency can seek from repeat offenders.
'If a fine is just decimal dust for a Wall Street firm, that's not a deterrent,' Grassley said in a statement. 'A penalty should mean something.'"
The bill comes only months after SEC Chairwoman Mary Schapiro asked Congress to boost the agency's firepower, after a federal judge in New York tossed out two SEC settlements over paltry penalties.