Hawking Up Hairballs

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Obama In Wall Street's Pocket

Think Obama isn't deep in Wall Street's pocket? As though the proposed bailout with its gifts to the banks at the expense of the taxpayers wasn't enough. Now, how about this?

Harry Markopolos is the financial investigator who blew the whistle on the Madoff Ponzi scheme. In testimony before a House Financial Services subcommittee yesterday, he accused the Financial Regulatory Authority (FINRA) of being corrupt, and he said that he didn't push the Madoff case with FINRA because they had too many ties with Madoff. Why would he care about that? Well, he apparently felt that, if Madoff found out what he was doing, his life would be in danger. Whether or not that was really true isn't particularly relevant. What is relevant is that the head of FINRA at that time was one Mary Schapiro. And who is she, you might ask. Well, she's Obama's newly appointed head of the SEC.

The rest of Schapiro's record is apparently nothing to brag about either, and I quote from the MarketWatch site, a part of the Wall Street Journal's Digital Network. "Schapiro's record at FINRA is one of multiple small-time settlements and fines while huge frauds, including Madoff, went unchecked."

It doesn't stop there. SEC officials also testified before the same subcommittee on Wednesday. One of them, SEC General Counsel Andy Vollmer refused to testify about certain aspects of the SEC's investigation of Madoff. In so doing, he cited executive privilege. I thought that sort of thing went out with Bush but, when asked if he was invoking executive privilege on his own, Vollmer replied, "No, I wouldn't say that."

Okay so Vollmer is a Bush holdover and a McCain enthusiast, but Schapiro could order him to return to the subcommittee to answer their questions. Failing that, Obama could intervene. Is there a chance of either happening? Don't hold your breath.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home