Friday, April 16, 2010
Sic Semper Whistleblower-2
"A crusading legislator who had made a considerable reputation following up on whistleblower charges once told me that nearly all the whistleblowers she had met shared two qualities. First, they were onto something--that is, there was at least some truth to what they were saying. Second, they were 'a little bit nuts.' ... Through common sense at first, but ultimately through brilliant analytical detective work, Mr. Markopolos [HM] figured out precisely what Mr. Madoff was up to--and showed why Mr. Madoff could not bea earning the amazingly consistent returns that he claimed for his investors. ... The response of the SEC's enforcement staff was nothing less than appalling--a complete derelication of duty. ... The crook simply outmatched the watchdog. As Mr. Markopolos observes: 'The quants who create these financial products understand differential equations and nonnormal statistics; they program in languages the SEC doesn;t speak; they run statistical packages the SEC doesn't even know exist. The quants are busy data mining with supercomputers while the SEC is still panning by hand.' ... Mr. Markopolos writes: 'In my mind, at leat, I was convinced that someone high up at the Journal had decided it was too dangerous to go after Bernie Madoff.' No evidence for this charge is offered or even suggested. ... Now we come to the second quality that whistleblowers often sow. The author of 'No One would Listen' is fond of describing himself as 'slightly eccentric,' but he is not exactly self-aware. ... Mr. Markopolos tells us that for years, fearing for his own and his family's safety, he checked for bombs under his car; he also carried a loaded gun and slept with it at his bedside. He did so becase he believed--though he offers no evidence--that Mr. Madoff's clients included Russian mobsters and Latin drug cartels", Richard Tofel books review at the WSJ, 9 March 2010, link:
RT's condescending manner to HM indicates RT never blew the whistle. My experience with the (In)Justice Department makes me believe HM missed his biggest danger: the SEC would turn him over to Madoff and Madoff's cronies. Having blown the whistle in 1991 on a fraud, admittedly small by today's standards, only about $210 million in 2010 dollars, HM's fears were justified. I had the tires of my car slashed four times. I then parked it blocks away from my apartment. My apartment was burglarized. Strangely, nothing was taken. The investigating Los Angeles Police Department officer asked me who I thought did it and why. I told him. He said I might be in big trouble. I told him If I got killed tell the FBI it was a witness killing, punishable under 18 USC 1513(a). He saw I meant it. I looked under my car for bombs every day for 18 months. I had over 200 "hang up" phone calls from midnight to 1:00 AM in the morning. Who the hell does RT think he is talking to?