Stock market supervisors fiddle (with themselves) as Wall Street burns

Guys, you've had a bad day at work, the job is grinding you down and you're not feeling your best. You know that as soon as you get home, you might want a little bit of a relief in the privacy of your own bedroom/study, armed with nothing but a speedy mouse-finger and box of Kleenex. Everyone knows it's probably not the best idea in the world to use the office computer for moments like this. Especially, when your mind is meant to be on other things, like preventing a global recession.

And yet, at the Securities and Exchange Commission Washington office in America, senior staff were doing just that, the Huffington Post reports. One senior attorney at the body's head quarters in Washington spent up to eight hours of company time downloading illegal images, resorting to burning CDs and DVDs once his hard-drive had filled up with racy pics and videos. How alarm bells weren't ringing when strange boxes of recorded material kept appearing under his desk, we'll never know.

One persistent company accountant was blocked an incredible 16,000 times in one month from visiting dubious websites and yet managed to bypass the organisation's filters to amass a vast collection of porn, it was revealed.

After an internal investigation was carried out, one top Republican on the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform commented that staff at the SEC 'were preoccupied with other distractions' whilst the first cracks in the stock-market were starting to show in 2007. Distractions maybe, but that's one hell of a bill to pay for.

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