If you needed yet another example of Wall Street’s culture of corruption here it is – an SEC official has claimed that more than 50 percent of audits of private equity firms revealed “serious infractions of securities laws.” Yes, more than 50 percent.

Drew Bowden, a senior SEC official, disclosed the information in a presentation before a private equity conference. Bowden detailed his work in the SEC and how endemic the breaking of securities laws is within the private equity industry.

In other words, it’s not just a few bad apples.

Bowden heads the SEC’s examinations unit, and his rap sheet was based on his two years of experience in auditing private equity firms. As bad as embezzlement and other sharp practices are, at least as troubling is the revelation that the limited partners have been derelict in their duties. They’ve agreed to terms in their relationship with the general partners to make it easy for the general partners to abuse the investors.

The general partners can steal from their limited partners because the limited partners are asleep. The LPs have failed to negotiate for contractual protections when they have the most leverage, prior to investing, and they’ve been unwilling or unable to monitor their investments effectively once they’ve handed over their money.

If fleecing investors is standard practice in the private equity industry what does that say about the increasing amount of public pension funds using private equity firms to manage their wealth? Are over 50% of public workers getting stolen from?

To recap – Wall Street crashes the mortgage market with fraud, launders drug money, rigs global interest rates, and steals from their clients. And to top it all off the banksters create no actual value. No upside and lots of downside.

If not for legalized bribes through the campaign finance system to buy protection from the state how could Wall Street survive?