The Securities and Exchange Commission repeatedly missed chances, because of inexperience and incompetence, to head off the huge investment fraud carried out for years by the disgraced money manager, Bernard L. Madoff, the agency’s watchdog office said on Wednesday.Remember what I warned about in July:
In a damning report on the S.E.C.’s performance, the agency’s inspector general, H. David Kotz, said numerous “red flags” had been missed by the agency, including some warnings sounded by journalists, well before Mr. Madoff’s Ponzi scheme imploded in 2008.
Why, for instance, did Rep. John Larson (D-Conn.) rush through the House a bill that would give President Obama power to dismiss five inspectors general -- including the IG for the Securities and Exchange Commission -- who under existing law report to the agency heads?By the way, the September issue of The American Spectator is now on newsstands, featuring my 3,000-word in-depth article about the IG-Gate investigations. Subscribe to The American Spectator now.
The IGs themselves have protested against the Larson bill, which has yet to be debated in the Senate, and it has not escaped notice on Capitol Hill that Larson is a prominent "Friend of Chris." That would be Sen. Christopher Dodd (D-Conn.), chairman of the Senate Banking Committee. Dodd is under intense scrutiny for a number of shady-looking activities -- "Chris Dodd Update" has become a regular feature at Professor Glenn Reynolds' popular Instapundit blog -- and Dodd is also facing a tough re-election bid next year.
No one on the Hill has yet directly suggested that the Larson bill -- which could effectively muzzle watchdogs at five federal financial agencies -- was specifically intended as assistance to the embattled chairman of the Senate Banking Committee. But as liberal bloggers used to say about the Bush administration's activities, some Republicans have begun to "question the timing."