In the midst of all the tumult, we find out that Bernard made off with upwards of $50 billion. That's a lot of money. More than enough in some quarters, to off Mr. Madoff who is out on pocket change $10 million bail. It should come as no surprise that we should see finger pointing and the blame game:
WASHINGTON — Securities and Exchange Commission chairman Christopher Cox said Tuesday his agency repeatedly failed for at least a decade to pursue allegations of wrongdoing by Wall Street figure Bernard L. Madoff, the alleged perpetrator of a $50 billion Ponzi scheme.Why don't we send more money to Washington? They'll protect us against the wolves like the former Chairman of the NASDAG, Mr. Bernard Madoff.
Cox ordered a probe by the SEC's inspector general, saying the agency's staff had never brought the Madoff matter to the attention of commissioners.
Since the SEC staff never recommended that the commission open a formal investigation, subpoena power was not used to obtain information and the staff relied on information voluntarily produced by Madoff and his firm.
"I am gravely concerned by the apparent multiple failures over at least a decade to thoroughly investigate these allegations or at any point to seek formal authority to pursue them," Cox said in a statement.
In a forceful condemnation of the SEC staff, Cox said there had been credible and specific allegations regarding Madoff's financial wrongdoing going back to at least 1999.
The SEC chairman's criticism of his own agency marks only the latest instance in which federal regulators have overlooked clear warning signs of possible fraud.
The extent of corruption, greed and incompetence is stunning. In Washington, DC, on Wall Street and even in Hometown, Main Street, USA, the downward spiral continues.