Today the world mourns the loss of Bernard Lawrence Madoff.
That opening line might seem a little inappropriate.
One would be challenged to find a single person who mourns his demise; an easier task would be finding the scores of individuals and institutions whose money disappeared into his $65billion Ponzi scheme. Which scheme ran for possibly 48 years, without so much as a whisper from the mainstream press.
Given that the firm was nothing more than an exercise in nepotism – a compliance officer was his niece Shana Madoff – and the chief compliance officer was her father Peter Madoff – there ought to have been journalists barking like dogs.
But maybe, like the canine in the Arthur Conan Doyle story, they knew the thief and were content to let him have his way.
The SEC also seemed content to let him have his way with other people’s money – previous investigations into his bogus dealings failed to even sound an alarm. No surprise to anyone who reads top financial investigative reporter Matt Taibbi, who in a 2011 article in Rolling Stone noted that individuals who graduate in finance from top schools sometimes get jobs at the SEC. They are tasked with investigating companies. After failing to prosecute the suspects, they then get employed by the very suspect companies they investigated and let off the hook.
So maybe investigating Madoff was just a way of shaking him down, when he paid up, the investigations disappeared.
I say we investigate the investigators; quis custodiet ipsos custodes?
Not, I hope, Ivy Leaguers working at the SEC.
But somebody ought to. Let’s have a list of every person at the SEC who gave a passing grade to the Madoff Crime Family and have them put in jail. Where are they now?
Daby Carreras and I had a talk today about the late not-so-great Bernie M., and Daby pointed out that there are many billions still missing.
No surprise. Missing money seems to be the norm these days. Last month I asked NYC comptroller Scott Stringer if he could account for any missing money, and he said he did not understand the question. Then he got a little unpleasant with me and his supporters turned on me.
Mr Stringer is running for mayor. Woe be to NYC if he gets in.
But then again Madoff was once a chairman of the NASDAQ. So anything is possible.
Bad things happen.
But good things happen too.
And I am hoping that Daby becomes NYC comptroller, investigates and finds the missing money that Mr Stinger can’t seem to find (does Chirlane McRay, the mayor’s wife, know anything about this? Just asking…).
So let’s make him comptroller. This June, if you are a registered GOP voter in NYC, vote for him in the primary, and to all NYC voters, cast your ballot for Daby and let’s be on track to account for money as it needs to be.