In the December Issue of Compliance Week, Bruce Carton tells some of the history of the SEC’s enforcement history. One of the first internet efforts was an email address for the public to send tips. Back in 1996 there were about 20 complaints a day. Now there as many as 10,000 a day.
With all the complaining about the SEC, it is important to note that the SEC cannot uncover every violation or financial scam out there. How do you deal with 10,000 emails a day? Clearly the SEC missed some things in its Madoff investigations. Maybe they were a little soft on him given his reputation. Given that he convinced so many smart, rich people money, I assume he his very persuasive.
You have an under-manned agency looking at a charming man with a great reputation. There are lots of other bad guys out there. You move on and look for more problems.