"It would be hard to imagine a more thorough rebuke of how America's Securities and Exchange Commission … tries to discipline financial firms," The Economist’s Schumpeter blog says of New York District Judge Jed Rakoff's rejection of Citigroup's settlement with the SEC.

Schumpeter detailed the scathing highlights from Rakoff's ruling, the most sweeping one being that "it allowed firms to settle allegations without ever acknowledging guilt. This not only failed investors, but — by obscuring the truth — society."

The post noted that most of Rakoff's criticism was aimed at the regulator rather than at the allegedly offending institution. Following the ruling, both Citi and the SEC issued statements, but the SEC's "was far longer and much more testy…If there was a difference in tone, the reason was that the court's decision had little to do with Citigroup — and everything with how the SEC understands its mission."