The S.E.C. Bernie Madoff. In bed with each other. I just watched a proceeding on the hill which very much painted that picture. The S.E.C.’s top officials stonewalled ALL questions by the house members asking questions trying to get to the bottom of the entire Madoff scandal.
Gary Ackerman, a representative from New York, positively fumed at the non answers he received. He told the woman, Linda Thomsen, who is head of enforcement at the S.E.C. that she was completely useless and worthless because she would not and could not answer any direct questions asked about the Madoff scandal. I did not keep a precise count, but i think she must have said ” I can’t speak to the specifics of the case” at least a dozen times throughout the proceedings. Watch Mister Ackerman give’em hell.
Ed Perlmutter, a representative from Colorado (and a friend of mine on facebook) hit them good, and asked questions about different types of strategies used in stock investing. Then when they answered, he made the point that the only place he had ever heard of these particular strategies was in Ponzi schemes, and sited a particular case he had heard of using said strategy(my apologies for not remembering the precise name of said case involved) that cropped up in 1994 in his home state.
Jackie Speier, a representative from California, dropped a few bombs which they could not answer. She asked if they saw a pattern. First she talks of a former lead investigator, or head attorney at the S.E.C., I don’t remember the name, she may not have mentioned it, who worked for years in the S.E.C, and when he left, married into Bernie Madoff’s family. Then she spoke of another man, who was directly involved in the Madoff case, who chastised someone who brought evidence against Mr. Madoff, and when he left the S.E.C., went to work for Allied World Assurance, a company involved with Bernie Madoff.
The S.E.C. at every turn, stonewalled and did not answer any direct questions about the Madoff scheme. These people looked, for all intents and purposes, like they were actually protecting Mr. Madoff, instead of trying to investigate him. Yes, you might be able to say that they were protecting their criminal investigation of the madoff case, but there were plenty of instances where these people were asked to answer hypothetical questions, and they STILL danced and weaved around them, like a boxer trying to avoid getting hit.
No one there from the S.E.C. seemed interested in helping the Panel get at the truth. The Enforcement director, as well as several other
members of the panel who were there said that they were “Only a policy arm” of the S.E.C.
Wait…lemme get this straight… The Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations director is part of a “policy arm” of the S.E.C.? The Division of Trading and Markets director, Eric Sirri, is part of a “policy arm” of the S.E.C.? What exactly does that mean? The guy who’s job it is to watch Trading and markets has No enforcement power? How is that possible?
Questions directly about the Madoff investigation were met with either and I can’t answer or I don’t know, and in one instance I’ve only been here for three years.
Hypothetical Questions about cases similar to the madoff case, meant to get to the bottom of procedures , meant to see if there were procedures not followed were answered in only the vaguest of terms, and never once was there a straight answer.
Something fishy down at the S.E.C., the cops ignoring the crimes, dammit, someone is getting PAID.
That’s it for me. A second blog later on.
Today’s Nuggets, via wikiquote: Where justice is denied, where poverty is enforced, where ignorance prevails, and where any one class is made to feel that society is an organized conspiracy to oppress, rob and degrade them, neither persons nor property will be safe. Frederick Douglass
Moral excellence comes about as a result of habit. We become just by doing just acts, temperate by doing temperate acts, brave by doing brave acts. Aristotle.