Bernie Madoff Was Amateur Hour

(11 am. – promoted by ek hornbeck)

By now Bernard Madoff is old news and relegated to his prison cell. At the time he ran the largest ponzi scheme in financial history.

Not any longer.

For nearly a decade Harry Markopolos tried to get someone, anyone at the SEC to listen. It wasnt until the entire theft blew up that it finally came crashing down.

Today Madoff has a bed at Che’ Big House and Harry Markopolos … well he has found a bigger fish and it has to do with your retirement. And like Madoff its been going on for at least a decade.

This time Bernie has found a new ally.

“Attorneys general in Virginia and Florida filed civil suits against BNY Mellon alleging that the bank cheated pension funds in those states by choosing improper prices for currency trades the bank processed for the funds,” The WSJ reports. “The Virginia lawsuit, filed in a Fairfax, Va., state court, cites internal bank emails allegedly showing that senior bank officials knew about, and endorsed, a currency-trading method that hurt state pensioners.”

[..]In this case, Markopolos says BNY Mellon and State Street we’re taking about “three tenths of a percent from every forex transaction for pension funds” by back-timing the trade to benefit banks at the detriment of their pension fund clients. “It’s almost the exact same scheme as the market timing scandals of 2003,” he claims.

But thanks to reports yesterday we now know why the SEC has been derelict in their duties. Its because the SEC is complicit!

For the past two decades, according to a whistle-blower at the SEC who recently came forward to Congress, the agency has been systematically destroying records of its preliminary investigations once they are closed. By whitewashing the files of some of the nation’s worst financial criminals, the SEC has kept an entire generation of federal investigators in the dark about past inquiries into insider trading, fraud and market manipulation against companies like Goldman Sachs, Deutsche Bank and AIG. With a few strokes of the keyboard, the evidence gathered during thousands of investigations – “18,000 … including Madoff,” as one high-ranking SEC official put it during a panicked meeting about the destruction – has apparently disappeared forever into the wormhole of history.

I dont know about you but we have a serious problem here. Unless we clean out Washington of the riff raff and petty front men we will never get to the real thieves.


  1. every human endeavor is totally fucked up via the collapse of western capitalist oriented civilization but I would appear to be a totally insane loon.

  2. I was searching around to see if Matt Taibbi’s article on the SEC had been covered yet, as I was considering a post on it.

    Explaining the role of the SEC, here is Taibbi’s answer on the Amy Goodman show:

    AMY GOODMAN: Talk about just what the SEC does, the Securities and Exchange Commission.

    MATT TAIBBI: Well, they police the financial markets. They’re the main cops on the beat on Wall Street. It’s basically a two-tiered structure. It’s-you know, for Wall Street crime, it’s the SEC and the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Southern District of New York are the two main sort of policing organizations that prevent things like insider trading, market manipulation, securities fraud. They also make sure that all publicly traded corporations-they have to make regular disclosures, you know, every year, and they make sure that those disclosures are accurate, that you don’t have an Enron situation, for instance, where a company is reporting profits that they don’t have and hiding losses that they do have. The SEC is supposed to be the number one cop on the beat preventing all of this stuff. And if they’re not doing their job, which they apparently haven’t been, you know, what results is a situation like 2008, where just corruption overwhelms the markets, and you have this explosion of, you know, a lack of confidence all around the globe. . . . .

    The story is a horrifying one. (Bush, Sr. left office in 1993)  Since 1993, MUI’s (Matter Under Inquiry) and all the preliminary information were routinely destroyed if investigative agents were not given the permission to proceed with a full blown investigation by the enforcement division.  

    Apparently, in an article written by Professor Peter Henning of Wayne University, which responds to Matt Taibbi’s article, as Matt says, appears to be one of an apologia:

    The decision to open a MUI involves a low threshold of evidence, and according to the S.E.C.’s enforcement manual they ‘are preliminary in nature and typically involve incomplete information.’

    In other words, these were not important cases. The problem with this is that we know for sure that many of these cases were very consequential. For example, at least two of these MUIs involved Bernie Madoff. Even Henning couldn’t possibly argue that the Madoff case was much ado about nothing. How about a fraud case involving Lehman Brothers in 2002? Or the three cases involving SAC Capital? Or the myriad cases involving companies like Goldman, Citi, Bank of America, and so on? . . .

    Just knowing that some 18,000 cases were “disappeared” from history, though as expressed in Matt’s “Why is NYT’s Dealbook Blog Defending SEC Misdeeds?”

    In other words, the fact that the SEC destroyed 17 years’ worth of work is no big deal, because we could always just do that 17 years’ worth of work all over again – if we knew where to start, that is, which we don’t, because we destroyed all the records containing the original leads. How is some future SEC investigator supposed to redo a MUI if the only information he has is a one-line entry that reads, “Goldman Sachs 6/15/99-4/28/2000 MLA-01909 Market Manipulation”? Is he supposed to call a psychic buddy line to find out the original source of the file? Is the phone number of the original complainant hidden in an anagram in that one line somewhere? This is really silly stuff. . . . (emphasis mine)

    should make everyone’s hair stand on end.  We’re talking about OUR OWN regulatory commission, the Securities and Exchange Commission, over Wall Street that routinely and systematically dismissed any grievances submitted to it, destroyed the evidenced, “whitewashing the files of some of the nation’s largest banks and hedge funds, including AIG, Wells Fargo, Lehman Brothers, Goldman Sachs, Bank of America and top Wall Street broker Bernard Madoff. Last week, Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa said an agency whistleblower had sent him a letter detailing the unlawful destruction of records detailing more than 9,000 information investigations.”

    This explains how the criminality of Wall Street continued unabated all those years and how we were royally screwed over (still are) by them.  The Securities and Exchange Commission decided to join in the crimes (or the same thing as) by refusing to investigate complaints submitted to them and even obliterating the existence of them.  

    Now, according to Matt Taibbi,

    We hear also that the Obama administration is leaning on New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman to back off his investigation into securitization practices, apparently in the hope that he will sign on to the bogus settlement deal being cooked up by the other Attorneys General that would insulate the banks from liability for the massive securitization frauds that left millions of people in foreclosure.

    Supposedly, the practice of shredding documents has been discontinued.  But even if, think of 17 friggin’ years of the destruction of documents, involving the biggest foreclosure crisis ever and the gouging of 401-k’s.  And then, we bailed them out for all their criminality and destruction to the economy?


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