The SEC investigated, sort of. Essentially, they asked Mr. Madoff and his staff is he was a crook, and they all said, 'no.' Case closed.
Madoff's Swindle and the War on TerrorI see Madoff's "alleged $50 billion Ponzi scheme" as connected to the War on Terror in two ways.
- Redirecting $50,000,000,000 from productive citizens to a crook can't be good for the national economy
- The SEC's monumental screw-up seems to be another example of American sloppiness - which we can no longer afford
Hurting People, Damaging America's EconomyThe American GDP is roughly $13,800,000,000,000. Mr. Madoff's swindle is less that one-half of one percent of that (Around 0.004%). Although his 'alleged' actions have had a devastating impact on his victims, it's not that big a slice of America's pie.
Still, I don't think he's done the country any direct good.
And, there's a chance that Mr. Madoff's swindle will make people less willing to invest - which could have a wider impact.
America Has Gotten SloppyI've written before about American sloppiness. Or, to be a bit kinder, lack of attention to detail, procedure, and common sense: from misplaced laptops to protecting air travelers from nipple rings.
To be fair, it's not just America. Israeli security guards made a member of an American dance troupe, Abdur-Rahim Jackson, perform before they'd let him into Israel. He had an Arab name, you see. Never mind the other members of the troupe, and the documentation: they had to see the black man dance.
There's a War on, People!I think that too many Americans don't realize that the War on Terror is a real war. There are people who sincerely and earnestly want to kill those who don't believe what they do. And they'll succeed, if we don't get our eyes off the nipple rings, and on to the real threats.
News and views:
- "SEC's Cox admits 'failures' over Madoff"
CNNMoney (December 17, 2008)
- "SEC investigating 'multiple failures' in Madoff fraud case"
CNN (December 16, 2008)
- "S.E.C. Says It Missed Signals on Madoff Fraud Case"
The New York Times (December 16, 2008)
- "Madoff investors burned by SEC, too"
CNNMoney (December 15, 2008)
Op-ed, with some common-sense guides for not getting ripped off