Andrew Ross Sorkin has an intriguing column in the New York Times about Citigroup's $75 million settlement with the Securities and Exchange Commission:
On its face, the settlement looked like a victory for the good guys. The S.E.C. was finally holding Wall Street responsible for misleading shareholders. But take a step back and ask this question: Who is paying that $75 million fine?
The answer is Citigroup's shareholders — the same people who were arguably defrauded by its failure to disclose its exposure to subprime mortgages in the first place. And that means you and I are liable, too. Taxpayers own 18 percent of the company.
The government fines a company it owns.