Flickr photo by Mihnea™Every week in cocktail chatter, we tell you what you need to know to sound like an expert at this weekend's play date, dinner party, or post office meeting.
This week's cheat sheet: The SEC porn investigation.
What it is: Like Nero fiddling while Rome burned, word has it the employees of the Securities and Exchange Commission weren't paying attention to what Wall Street was doing as our economy went down the proverbial crapper. They were too busy figuring out how Debbie does Dallas! A memo obtained by the AP notes 33 staffers are under investigation for viewing porn on government-owned computers, 31 of them in the two and a half years since the financial meltdown began.
Terms to Know:
SEC -- An abbreviation of the Securities and Exchange Commission, this federal agency has oversight over Wall Street specifically to protect investors and keep the market running smoothly.
David Kotz -- The SEC inspector general, it's Kotz's job to oversee the investigation of the porn downloaded and viewed on company time, violating government codes of ethics.
Internal filter -- The government does have filters in place on computers to keep employees from accessing sex sites, but many of the employees managed to bypass them anyway.
Charles Grassley -- The Iowa Senator is the high-ranking member of the Senate Committee on Finance who made official requests to the SEC that brought to light the specifics of the investigation.
Phrases to drop:
"More than half of the staffers watching porn were senior level. Some had salaries over $200,000 a year!"
"This isn't the first time porn has been found on federal computes. A judge was stupid enough to put up graphic images on a website back in 2008."
"Sixteen percent of guys with Internet access at work say they view porn on the boss' dime."