Remember, Khuzami and the SEC settled with Goldman Sachs, too, despite having a good case against the firm. And it’s worth emphasizing that Khuzami, as the WSJ put it in a headline in April, “Oversaw Deutsche CDOs” before he jumped to the SEC:

Before taking his current job at the SEC last year, the 53-year-old Mr. Khuzami spent five years running the U.S. legal division of Deutsche Bank, one of the largest issuers of collateralized debt obligations in 2006 and 2007. As part of that job, he worked with lawyers who advised on the CDOs issued by the German bank and how details about them should be disclosed to investors. The group included more than 100 lawyers who also defended the bank against lawsuits and vetted other financial products, these people said.

Deutsche Bank has faced allegations of inadequate disclosure over its creation of CDOs.

Why somebody with such an obvious conflict of interest is allowed to head up the SEC’s enforcement division, which was once actually feared on Wall Street, is beyond me. CDOs are instruments at the heart of the financial crash.

This story is one worth watching closely.

If you'd like to help CJR and win a chance at one of 10 free print subscriptions, take a brief survey for us here.

Ryan Chittum is a former Wall Street Journal reporter, and deputy editor of The Audit, CJR's business section. If you see notable business journalism, give him a heads-up at rc2538@columbia.edu. Follow him on Twitter at @ryanchittum.