After the $50 billion Madoff Ponzi scheme came to light, it was learned that, over a 16 year period, the Securities and Exchange Commission had received no less than 6 “tips” that the company was, well, a fraud. The SEC did nothing.
In 2009, after the fraud was exposed, the SEC’s internal watchdog issued a report critical of the SEC’s handling of the matter. Now, some two years later, we find out the process, and the discipline handed out to those most culpable in “dropping the ball”.
In a model of bureaucratic efficiency, by law, no one can be fired from the SEC without the approval of the director of human resources. Springing into action, the SEC hired an outside law firm, Fortney & Scott, to assist the director in the decision making process. No word yet on what said outside law firm cost you, the taxpayer.
Fortney & Scott and the SEC’s human-resources director ultimately recommended that SEC Chairman Mary Schapiro fire one employee, unless that removal would have an adverse impact on the agency’s work. [emphasis supplied]
I can only assume that said employee is the backbone of the entire SEC because the discipline handed out by the Chairman was a suspension for 30 days without pay, a demotion and a pay grade reduction.
Let’s think about that. This employee was in a position to stop or greatly limit the losses suffered by those who invested their funds with Madoff. He or she did nothing. And yet that same individual is so important to the operations of the SEC that his or her dismissal would have an adverse impact on the agency.
Gee, I’d hate to see what the other employees who aren’t so critical do.
But, more to the point. In the real world, were said employee to have allowed a $50 billion Ponzi scheme to continue under his or her nose, said employee would have been fired in a heart beat…no human resource director, no outside law firm, no “critical” to the organization.
Silly me. I keep forgetting government doesn’t live in the real world.