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The lessons of the SEC'watchdog analysis on Madoff

The New York Times has reported that he Securities and Exchange Commission’s internal watchdog said in an extensive report released Wednesday that an inexperienced staff and examination delays prevented the agency from uncovering the huge fraud perpetrated by Bernard L. Madoff. H. David Kotz, the S.E.C.’s inspector general said the agency received many warnings about Mr. Madoff’s business over 16 years, but missed numerous chances to uncover the scheme by approaching investigations “too narrowly.”

A quotation page 19: "For example, when Enforcement staff asked the critical question of how he was able to achieve his consistently high returns, Madoff never really answered the question but, instead, attacked those who questioned his returns, particularly the author of the Barron's article. Essentially, Madoff claimed his remarkable returns were due to his personal "feel" for when to get in and out of the market, stating, "Some people feel the market. Some people just understand how to analyze the numbers that they're looking at." Because of the Enforcement staffs inexperience and lack of understanding of equity and options trading, they did not appreciate that Madoff was unable to provide a logical explanation for his incredibly consistent returns. Each member of the Enforcement staff accepted as plausible Madoff’s claim that his returns were due to his perfect "gut feel" for when the market would go up or down."

Richard Murphy said, "regulators must assume those they regulate are crooks. Why would they need regulation if they weren’t? Which is also why self regulation can never work."

I can confirm that especially in a small jurisdiction where everybody knows everyone self regulation can never work.

As far as Luxembourg is concerned, Madoff is officially an American scandal.

I wish they were intelligent enough to realise that the small size of the jurisdiction creates the risk all the more than professionals decide what is to be done for the regulation:

The Luxembourg Investment Fund Industry has regularly had a very close and direct say on the evolution of the Luxembourg prudential regulatory environment governing the collective Investment Industry (...) This influence has been exerted directly and indirectly by the lobbying initiatives taken on the level of the different professional associations, be it ALFI or ABBL , but also and more importantly, trough a direct association with the Luxembourg Supervisory Authorities by means of a number of standing committees" (Rafik Fischer, Vice Chairman, ALFI, in 2005)

This is confirmed by the CSSF: "The internal committees assist the CSSF in the analysis of the development of the different financial sector segments, give their advice on any question relating to their activities and participate in the drawing-up and the interpretation of regulations relating to their specific field."

In other words professionals require changes in the transposition of directives and other international texts whatever matter (AML, tax, audit...) and influence the regulator in its duties.

I am afraid my sources are not "dubious", the magic word to disregard issues raised.

They never really answer the question but, instead, attacked those who questioned . Rainer Falk from the Cercle de cooperation and I we know that.

"Don't ask, don't tell" is the business culture in Luxembourg where many professionals are like Madoff was : respectable.



Read the SEC's internal watchdog Report

08:12 Posted in General | Permalink | Comments (0)

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