Well, all over the papers yesterday and today, you can find the news that Stephen Friedman, chairman of the New York Federal Reserve (from which he has just resigned under a cloud of controversy), bought in December another 37,300 shares of Goldman Sachs, of which he was a director. Now Fed officials are not supposed to be shareholders, directors or officeholders of banks. Goldman became a bank before Friedman bought these shares. No matter, said Friedman to himself. I'll just ask for a waiver.

And he got it. Why did the Securities and Exchange Commission issue this waiver? You ask me. I ask you. In any case, it did. Another triumph of rectitude by the S.E.C.

He's made $3 million in paper profits off these shares. He had about 40,000 shares before he bought what was still an illegal acquisition of holdings. By now Friedman has 111,000 shares.