Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Dec. 17: No Real Justice Will Come From Madoff Case, Unless......

By Sylvia Gurinsky

Maybe Sen. John McCain had something during the presidential campaign when he called for the firing of Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Christopher Cox.

At the very least, the SEC did not do its job in policing former NASDAQ Chairman Bernard Madoff. The cost is far more than the $50 billion in fraud he is accused of committing against, among others, small investors and charities. There will be no government bailout of those whose life savings or funds for their communities were taken. Perhaps a few lucky people can go to court and score a victory.

The biggest loser is the entire country, whether one invested with Madoff or not, because it was counting on the policing entities, including the SEC, created in the wake of the stock market crash of 1929. They all failed.

Politicians will make noises about reforms, but elected officials in both parties deserve plenty of the blame as well. That includes our last two presidents. Bill Clinton was as cozy with big business as he was with Monica Lewinsky. As for George W. Bush, the less said, the better for the temper.

Can President-Elect Barack Obama start turning the tide? Maybe, but he might want to consider doing so the way he ran his presidential campaign: From the ground up, starting with people like the small investors who lost their money. The insider's club in Washington had a major hand in this mess. They're too far in to know how to fix it.

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