Courtroom drama MIA: ProPublica cuts deeply to the bone when evaluating the SEC's apparent unwillingness to go to trial with big cases against financial firms and execs ever since its high-stakes loss in a Bear Stearns case. "The S.E.C. is not getting big enough settlements out of the largest banks. It's not bringing enough financial cases. It isn't going after the big banks' top executives. It's being way too cautious in its interpretation of its role as defender of the fairness and sanctity of the markets."