-- Posted Friday, 20 February 2009 | | Source: GoldSeek.com
By Dominique Audette de la Pointe
It’s said that everyone’s a financial genius in a bull market. And with all the ordinary geniuses floating around, there must be, then, some of God’s-chosen amongst us specially anointed by the money gods to shepherd the mass souls from poverty. The tide of easy money from the Fed created these high priestesses, but the regulators at the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) would look away from the repeated warnings heeded by the Faithful, some noted in public record and countless others, anecdotal.
A most recent record of compelling testimony comes from Harry M. Markopolos, a former securities industry executive turned independent financial fraud investigator for institutional investors and others seeking forensic accounting expertise, who testified to Congress about his frustrating experiences with the SEC relating to his independent investigation into growing suspicions of hedge fund manager Bernie Madoff’s statistically improbable track record of investment performance registered through the many years of overall market rises and plunges.
Bernie, it seemed, defied gravity. But the mere “whistleblower” Markopolos was thrown into a soundproof room by the SEC when he attempted to blow his whistle each time he saw another string exposing the remarkable levitation act. Thankfully, Markopolos would not suffer the same fate of Galileo.
Now, the latest member of the cabal, R. Allen Stanford, has fled authorities after accusations that his levitation stunt was phony. Congress is sure to hear more “He seemed like a nice guy” testimony from the SEC. But, a breath of fresh air would wisp in the halls of Congress if someone admitted openly that some at the SEC thought proving allegiance to the high priestesses was the goal, and the ability to maintain secrets is the paramount test in this progressively coed organization.
The reality behind the all-too-rare remarkable performance by these Masters of the Universe was summed up by Warren Buffet when he was quoted as saying, “When the tide goes out, you can see who isn't wearing shorts.” Fraud can be camouflaged as long as market performance continues to attract investors into pouring money into a fund that’s used to payoff earlier investors. It’s the foundation of a successful Ponzi-like scheme. But when the redemptions start, the scheme must collapse.
The national orgy of Ponzi-like schemes seems to be ushering the not-as-good-as-the-original “Sons of Ponzi” sequels, and we’re afraid the sequels will top the number of “Rocky” ones. But the truth-is-greater-than fiction story being told in Washington and Wall Street has become the latest “someone did me wrong” reality-based show until, of course, the public discovers the participants in this show don’t get paid, but must pay dearly, instead.
The SEC claims its budgets are not up to the job of catching the incompetent, reckless and sociopaths. The labeled cynics amongst us state that the low budget of the SEC was purposefully approved with the intent of only creating a window-dressing agency for the public. The glass-half-full optimists (apologists) insist that there will always be evildoers and the authorities can’t always be there to prevent the crime.
The apologists, however, need to reconcile the glowing inconsistencies riddled throughout the federal budget. We spend trillions on a war to allegedly protect us from terrorism of the religious sort, but only spend the equivalent of a down payment on one aircraft carrier for the SEC’s annual budget. More cops and enforcement usually make a difference. Since, we haven’t seen any nervous-looking bomb-strapped 20-year-old men running around, maybe we should be more leery of well-tanned capped-teeth pickpockets in Hickey Freeman suits, instead. The financial 911 we suspect is coming, and fret to see in which way the guns will be pointed this time.
-- Posted Friday, 20 February 2009 | Digg This Article | Source: GoldSeek.com