SEC Cover Band Rocks Out on Behalf of Furloughed Workers

(Bloomberg) -- The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission lawyers who took the stage at Washington’s Rock & Roll Hotel Thursday night have won accolades for suing Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and writing rules for Wall Street traders. This time, their greatest hits were more of the heavy metal variety.

Prompted by the government shutdown, the SEC workers -- who moonlight in a band called G.O.A.T. Rodeo -- played a concert for fellow furlough victims. The plan was to raise some money for a charitable fund that helps federal employees and blow off some pressure that’s been building over the past month.

“We’ve been going a little crazy around my house, stir crazy, not working,’’ said Stacy Puente, an SEC attorney, before she launched into Ozzy Osbourne’s hit “Crazy Train.”

The crowd, many of whom were also missing paychecks and unable to go to their jobs at the SEC and other agencies, nodded their heads and pumped fists in the air. The band, which included Puente on vocals and SEC colleagues on lead guitar, keyboards and drums, was clearly enjoying the night out as well. One of the non-SEC members, Pulitzer-prize winning Washington Post editorial cartoonist Tom Toles, even donned a set of faux horns.

SEC Cover Band Rocks Out on Behalf of Furloughed Workers

“We were a little bored,’’ said drummer Reid Muoio, an SEC enforcement lawyer who has grown his hair long since gaining prominence for his role in the agency’s post-crisis investigation of Goldman’s marketing of collateralized debt obligations. The bank settled in 2010, paying $550 million.

The concert was billed as “Fed Up!’’ and tickets were free for those with a government ID. Everyone else paid $15. The drink of choice was Pabst Blue Ribbon in tall cans.

Not in evidence: workers who President Donald Trump keeps saying are supportive of keeping much of the government closed until he gets some $5.7 billion for his border wall.

The band sent its own not-so-subtle messages with a set list of well-known cover tunes, which included “Highway to Hell’’ by AC/DC and Radiohead’s “Creep,’’ dedicated to Trump, and Pink Floyd’s “Another Brick in the Wall.’’ For the final two songs, they were joined by a number of children wearing t-shirts that read “Mother Should I Trust the Government.’’

In an interview after the show, Puente said she was anxious to get back to her job, where some of her duties have included helping write a new conflict of interest rule for the brokerage industry. The SEC’s work, she noted, is important to millions of Americans and their savings.

“The retail investing public needs to feel like there is someone watching the markets,’’ she said.

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