Unlike other financial police, banking regulators either have no whistle-blower programs that provide incentives and protections for individuals to break their silence about wrongdoing they witness, or these regulators have little-known programs with comically small awards.
.. Without robust whistle-blower programs, bank regulators are like beat cops who don’t have a working 911 system.
.. Mary Jo White, the S.E.C. chairwoman, said recently that the program had been a “game changer” for the agency.
What if the wrongdoing that Snowden has exposed is not recognized as such by many of his fellow citizens?
.. By this standard, however, it’s not clear whether any national security officials who have revealed abuse or misconduct would qualify as whistleblowers. Consider Daniel Ellsberg, whose decision to pass a copy of The Pentagon Papers to The New York Times and other newspapers in 1971 is widely seen as an honorable act of whistleblowing today.
.. In view of America’s deep tradition of individual liberty and distrust of government, one might suspect that whistleblowers like Snowden are more likely to win sympathy in the US than in other countries. But the evidence suggests the opposite. In answer to the question of whether “people should support their country even if the country is in the wrong,” more Americans said yes than citizens of eight European countries, the International Social Survey Programme found in 2003.