On Wednesday Rep. Gary Ackerman (Furious – NY) addressed the SEC during a Congressional hearing, to find out why they could not find their ass “…with both hands, even if the lights were on.” Ackerman delivered a series of well-aimed donkey punches at the SEC in light of their failure to notice Bernie Madoff’s $50-billion Ponzi scheme for the past nine years.
Harry Markopolos was working at Rampart Investment Management Co. when his boss told him to find out how Bernie Madoff was making so much money. With a few assistants and some pals, Markopolos discovered that Madoff was running the mother of all rip-offs. He also testified before Congress, because he had been blowing a whistle on Madoff since 2000. Boy, was he pissed!
Markopolos was at a disadvantage for years. By the looks of things, he probably was never the first person on anyone’s list to have lunch with. I’m not saying he’s ugly or boring, and I’m sure he’s a fine man, but he is somewhere between an adenoidal wonk and hard place. No one wants to come out and say it, but the SEC treated Markopolos like a crank caller. It’s pretty bad when the nebbishes at the SEC have better things to do than have a salad with you at Ruby Tuesday's. As a matter of fact, it was worth billions of dollars to them to avoid him.
Every year, like clockwork, Markopolos would warn the SEC about Bernie. The SEC would pretend to notice and then go back to playing Free Cell. Plenty of times they put him on the speakerphone, while everyone in the room made goofy faces and tried not to bust out laughing.
One day, Bernie Madoff confessed. “There is no innocent explanation,” he said. I should think not, especially when he made off with Elie Weisel’s foundation money (that’s not even the half of it). Everyone at the SEC shit their pants and died.
Rep. Ackerman is in this street fight for the right reasons and he is the perfect ally for Markopolos. He’s built like a fireplug and he acts like he runs a bowling alley. Together, the Markopolos/Ackerman equation is like every good 80’s teen movie, where the geek and the jerk are vindicated in a struggle against the popular frat. The formula works everytime, people.
Rep. Ackerman has a great finale. Check it out.