New York state's financial regulator, Benjamin Lawsky, is leaving his job to start a firm that "will provide compliance and risk management advice to a range of companies," the New York Times reports. It's yet another case of a regulator cashing out by going to work for the people he used to regulate. The Times article reports further:
the fines Mr. Lawsky collected became a revenue stream for the state. Mr. Cuomo recently trumpeted the money as "basically a gift from above" that he will use for infrastructure upgrades and other expenses.
This formulation of the fines as "a gift from above" is pretty priceless.
It's not a "gift" — gifts are voluntary, while these settlements are extracted from companies by force. As the Times puts it later in the article: "Banks complained that the threat amounted to a shakedown. Faced with the choice of settle or die, the banks understandably chose to settle."
And it's not "from above," either. The money comes from companies that are owned by shareholders. The money comes out of their pockets.