How did Bernie Madoff get away get away with it? His crime was too simple to be believed:
In reality, the SEC is already one of (if not the)most well funded and professional federal agencies. SEC staff make way more money than most federal employees, and that is out of necessity because the SEC has to recruit people out of very highly paid private sector positions. I work with the SEC staff on a regular basis, and have a number of close personal friends at the agency. They are most definitely NOT suffering from a lack of funding, morale or White House support for a strong investor protection mission. According to my acquaintances, the Madoff failure was simply a big screw up. The SEC is very good at rooting out sophisticated fraud, especially in accounting gimicks. But they, like most human beings, are simply not that good at identifying accounting statements that are simply made up out of whole cloth. Hindsight is 20-20 though and I’m sure plenty of people will be calling for heads to roll.