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Jan 7, 2009 1:39 pm


If Bill Singer’s provocative comment below resonates with you, please visit today’s  blog entry for additional context.

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It is time for silly season to end.  We must rid ourselves of those regulators who continue to think that the bad guys on Wall Street come only from central casting replete with black fedora and pinky ring.  That is a dangerously outmoded mindset. In recent years, the truly bad guys were dressed in pinstripes, displayed Ivy League credentials, swapped stories at the golf outing with the industry cops, and were feted as the industry's finest.  Sure, follow the commonsense approach of scrutinizing those with negative track records and bang away at such recidivists.  Frankly, that's so obvious that you have to wonder why it needs repeating. On the other hand, don't mislead yourself as a regulator into believing that regulation is simply hounding the walking wounded.  I once again remind those in regulation that the most dangerous con artists are those who don the patina of respectability and who you invite to speak at your conferences and contact for your post-regulation jobs.  They don't damage the public bite by bite, as if a school of pirahna. No, they circle with the cold killing instinct of a Great White Shark and accomplish the kill with one sudden, crushing attack.  We measured the damages of the pennystock scamsters and the boilerroom fraudsters by the millions. We measure the pain of Bernie Madoff in the billions.  You tell me? Were your regulatory priorities on point?