THIS STORY HAS BEEN FORMATTED FOR EASY PRINTING

SEC badly needs a good scrubbing

May 21, 2009
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I READ with interest the May 15 article about the Securities and Exchange Commission's upcoming rule changes in the wake of the Madoff scandal ("SEC proposes new rules over money managers," Page B9).

As a small investor, I was not reassured by SEC promises of surprise visits to money managers or new compliance audits intended to detect investment malfeasance. The SEC needs to clean its own house before planning pop-up visits to anyone - its staggering display of paralysis when confronted (repeatedly) with credible evidence of Bernie Madoff's fraud by investment manager Harry Markopoulos boggles the mind.

A more compelling issue than chasing down money managers is what to do when our regulating agencies appear incompetent to oversee financial markets - and what greater evidence of it do we have than our current situation? The SEC should be required to publicly address the reasons behind its lack of investigative initiative, and until it does, it will be hard to regain confidence in financial markets. The new rules are window-dressing. The real questions have not been answered to satisfaction.

ALICIA HART
Salem

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