We all know the SEC blew it on Bernie Madoff. But was it because of young staffers awed by the firm’s name and offices?
That’s what happened according to a former Madoff secretary, as quoted in a new book by Andrew Kirtzman, “Betrayal: The Life and Lies of Bernie Madoff.” The New York Post reports:
“The youthful SEC staffers were so dazzled to be at Madoff headquarters that they occasionally inquired about job openings at the company,” Kirtzman writes.
[Secretary] Solomon said, “They would say, ‘Can we get jobs — can we give you our resumes?’ We’d say, ‘Send them through to our offices. A couple of them dropped resumes off.’ “
When SEC probers showed up at Madoff’s office after his arrest to begin going through paperwork to trace his fraud’s tentacles, Solomon recognised one of them from a prior visit years ago.
“If you had done your [bleep]ing job in the first place, we wouldn’t be in this position now!” Solomon yelled at him.”
Fine, young regulators are inexperienced and impressionable. But was whistleblower Harry Markopolos really that hard to understand when he said in 2005 that Madoff was “running the world’s largest Ponzi Scheme”? Come on.
If anything, this emphasises what’s so bad about the private sector/regulator revolving door. It’s not obvious how you get anyone to crack heads when they’re angling for jobs after doing their stints in Washington.
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