Prof. Jayanth R. Varma's Financial Markets Blog

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Prof. Jayanth R. Varma's Financial Markets Blog, A Blog on Financial Markets and Their Regulation. This blog is currently suspended.

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Wed, 04 Feb 2009

Markopolos on the SEC

Last year, I blogged about the Markopolos submission to the SEC (way back in 2005) in which he argued that the Madoff fund was a Ponzi scheme. I wrote then that the Markopolos submission was extremely persuasive and well argued and was a good example of forensic economics. His prepared testimony to the US Congressional hearings is even better at explaining his deductions. He talks about how his army special operations background trained him “to build intelligence networks, collect intelligence reports from field operatives, devise lists of additional questions to fill in the blanks, analyse the data and send draft reports for review and correction before submission.”

The entire 65 page document is worth reading in full. What I found most interesting (after having read the 2005 submission) is what he has to say about the SEC. What happens when he turns his forensic mind at the SEC itself is really fascinating. He pulls no punches either in his diagnosis or in his recommendations:

I think that by and large Markopolos is on the right track though I disagree with a few of his recommendations. The question is whether any of this is likely to happen. Unfortunately, state failure is as endemic as market failure (if not more).

Posted at 20:16 on Wed, 04 Feb 2009     View/Post Comments (6)     permanent link