More S.E.C. Ethics Blindness

What good is a blind watchdog?

Back in February, I told the tale of David Becker, former S.E.C. General Counsel, who had inherited money from his mother that was really the fruits of the Bernie Madoff investment scandal after he had served in the post while Madoff was merrily swindling people as the S.E.C. twiddled its thumbs. Becker apparently wasn’t in the information chain that should have led the S.E.C. to stop Madoff , and the scandal was uncovered after he left the agency. In 2009, after the Madoff mess had exploded, he rejoined the agency in his old job, but when it came to light that he and his brothers had inherited $2 million Madoff-manufactured profits from their mother, he quickly stepped down. My view was that Becker was a victim of circumstance: he had the appearance of impropriety, but hadn’t done anything wrong.

I should have known better: after all, this is the Securities and Exchange Commission, where they illegally shred files and the regulators look at porn all day. Now it is revealed thatContinue reading

The Conflict of Interest That Isn’t, But Looks Terrible Anyway

David Becker, the top lawyer at the Securities and Exchange Commission, is suddenly an embarrassment to his employers. He and his two brothers inherited more than $1.5 million in phony profits from their mother’s investment in $65 billion Bernard Madoff’s Ponzi scheme. Since the S.E.C. was famously asleep at its post regarding Madoff, its negligence and incompetence allowing him to destroy individual lives, charities and more, having a key lawyer at the regulatory agency profit from Madoff’s scheme, even by inheritance, looks corrupt and unconscionable.  Continue reading