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The cases related to the financial crisis resulted in charges against about 150 companies and individuals, and $2.68 billion in fines and restitution, according to the SEC.

Still, critics have said the penalties were small compared with the banks’ revenues. And they complained that no senior executives were held accountable.

Mr. Khuzami is stepping down within a month of former SEC Chairman Mary Schapiro’s departure from the agency.


$1 trillion coin still on table for deficit

A White House spokesman repeatedly refused to rule out a bizarre-sounding proposal to mint a $1 trillion platinum coin that would allow the federal government to unilaterally raise the debt ceiling if Congress fails to act.

During a briefing with reporters Wednesday, press secretary Jay Carney flatly said there is “no Plan B, there is no backup plan” to avoid defaulting on the nation’s debts if Congress refuses to increase the nation’s borrowing limit. Even so, he did not rule out the seemingly far-fetched $1 trillion coin idea.

The $1 trillion coin idea works something like this: The Treasury Department would produce the coin by exploiting a loophole in U.S. law giving the department the ability to mint platinum coins in any denomination. It then would deposit the coin with the Federal Reserve to allow the Treasury to continue to pay its bills.

“The option here is for Congress to do its job and pay its bills — bills that have already been racked up,” Mr. Carney added.