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Harry Markopolos: “Don’t Trust Your Government”

Harry Markopolos

In an interview on the Today show Monday morning (video clip after the fold), Harry Markopolos dropped a few bombshells. Harry’s statement that he had purchased a gun and mentally prepared himself to kill Bernie Madoff in self-defense if need be will likely grab the most attention. It shouldn’t.

Markopolos’ biggest bombshell this morning is his warning to America, “Don’t trust your government.” No surprise that Today host Matt Lauer did not probe deeper. I am not confident that other outlets will delve deeper into Harry’s statement, either. I wonder why Harry himself is reticent to specifically point out the individuals and the instances which lead him to make that statement.

Recall that a year ago Harry defined the SEC as merely incompetent while simultaneously defining FINRA (Financial Industry Regulatory Authority) as ‘in bed with the industry’ that is Wall Street. Well, it does not take an advanced degree to connect Harry’s grenade toss into FINRA’s backyard a year ago with his volley this morning.

Who is the central figure coarsing across the landscape of the NASD (FINRA’s predecessor), FINRA, and now the SEC?

Mary Schapiro.

Why doesn’t Harry get very specific in making these statements?

Why doesn’t the media probe deeper?

When will Mary Schapiro be compelled to answer questions not only about her relationship with Bernie Madoff, but about her tenure at the NASD and FINRA?

At that point, would Harry think we might be able to trust our government?

I certainly would like to get answers to a whole host of questions surrounding Ms. Schapiro. What questions? As I wrote last December and repeat today, “Mary Schapiro Owes America Some Answers”:

Mary Schapiro, the current SEC Chair and formerly the head of FINRA, possesses a wealth of information on a number of topics for which America would like greater detail. What are some of these topics?

1. Did FINRA possess material, non-public information and act upon it in the liquidation of its $671 million auction-rate securities position in mid-2007 as the ARS market was failing?

2. Did FINRA invest its own funds in Bernard Madoff, as alleged in the complaint Amerivet Securities vs. FINRA.

3. What was the nature and full depth of Mary Schapiro’s relationship with Bernie Madoff? Bernie himself characterized Mary as a ‘dear friend.’

4. Did Mary Schapiro and her fellow FINRA execs lie verbally and in a proxy statement regarding the merger of the NASD with NYSE Regulation to form FINRA?

Are these some of the questions leading Harry to make his statement this morning about not trusting our government? In my opinion, they are a good start. America deserves these answers.

(UPDATE: Late Monday afternoon, Judge Jed Rakoff issued a ruling on Question #4 above. He has dismissed a complaint regarding this allegation, believing that Schapiro and FINRA are entitled to absolute immunity. For the full story, please read here).

Now let’s listen to Harry’s 7-minute clip.

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

LD

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  • Peggy Sue

    Yes, Taibbi doesn’t curb his penchant for the “colorful” and often rude metaphor.  But for all those faults, this article [written for Rollingstone Mag] does a good job in describing the absolutely loathsome behavior of GS and others in the fleecing of America. 

    Could the language been more polite and less purple prose in nature?  Of course.  But I don’t think that should negate the analogy of the grifter and the scam that continues right now, aided and abetted by the US government.

    Taibbi wrote a much more detailed and complex article earlier.  This one brings it down to street level and makes it accessible to a wider audience–sexist language and all. The style may not suit everyone.  But we ignore the content at our own peril. 

  • Captain Jack Sparrow

    Trust your government? Right ! Its never about the little guy and its always about the deal.

    Like I said before. Bunning is a coward and now this proves that he also did not care about just the spending cuts but what he could get out of the deal by holding up the little guy.

    Trust? Trust what? The system is badly broken!

    Senate reaches deal to end Bunning blockade
     
    Updated 7:12 pm  
    By Ben Pershing  
    Senate leaders reached an agreement with Sen. Jim Bunning (R-Ky.) Tuesday to end his blockade of a bill extending unemployment benefits, highway funding and other federal programs.  
     
    The deal would likely allow a vote on the package Tuesday night, along with a vote on one Bunning amendment forcing the $10 billion bill to be offset with spending cuts elsewhere. Bunning will also get the chance to offer amendments on the next Senate jobs bill, a $150 billion measure slated for consideration by the Senate this week.  
     
    The unemployment benefits to more than 200,000 Americans and other federal programs expired Feb. 28, and an extension have been held up by Bunning’s opposition.   
     
    In addition, Bunning has also placed holds on all pending Obama administration nominees, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s (D-Nev.) office confirmed Tuesday. Democrats assumed that Bunning would lift those holds once a deal was struck Tuesday night.  
     
    Bunning’s office declined to comment on the holds placed by the senator.

  • Captain Jack Sparrow

    Trust your government? Right ! Its never about the little guy and its always about the deal.

    Like I said before. Bunning is a coward and not a hero as he was protrayed. This shows that he did not care about just the spending cuts but what he could get out of the deal by holding up the little guy. Big bad Jim Bunning!

    Trust? Trust what?  The man is a republican political whore….

    Senate reaches deal to end Bunning blockade <!– begin blogger thumbs –> <!—-> <!– end blogger thumbs –>

    Updated 7:12 pm
    By Ben Pershing
    Senate leaders reached an agreement with Sen. Jim Bunning (R-Ky.) Tuesday to end his blockade of a bill extending unemployment benefits, highway funding and other federal programs.

    The deal would likely allow a vote on the package Tuesday night, along with a vote on one Bunning amendment forcing the $10 billion bill to be offset with spending cuts elsewhere. Bunning will also get the chance to offer amendments on the next Senate jobs bill, a $150 billion measure slated for consideration by the Senate this week.

    The unemployment benefits to more than 200,000 Americans and other federal programs expired Feb. 28, and an extension have been held up by Bunning’s opposition. 

    In addition, Bunning has also placed holds on all pending Obama administration nominees, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s (D-Nev.) office confirmed Tuesday. Democrats assumed that Bunning would lift those holds once a deal was struck Tuesday night.

    Bunning’s office declined to comment on the holds placed by the senator.

  • PizzaDriver

    there is a segment of the far leftists that is constantly using unneccessary vulgarity and violent imagery, often throwing in cheap shots at women, just for fun.  i guess they think it makes them look tough and cool.  god help america.

  • Guest

    What about taking your evidence/concerns N.Y.’s Attorney General?  

  • helenk

    http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/news/84485-schumer-casts-doubt-on-fed-based-consumer-agency

    I guess the government does not trust the government either

    WOMEN WITH INTELLIGENCE AND EXPERIENCE, MEN WHO SUPPORT THEM AND COUNTRY BEFORE PARTY ALWAYS

    PUMAS,BUBBAS,EQUALISTS AND THOSE PEOPLE RULE

  • jbjd

    I am so glad I got to this computer before anyone else commented on my comment.  Because I have to amend it.  I had only scanned Mr. Taibbi’s remarks when I lauded the article he wrote on GS et al.  And I began to wonder whether I could ‘forgive and forget’ his treatment of HRC during the primaries.  No.  No.  No.  Because these lines are also in there.

    (On the recent rumors GS might have to scale back bonuses.)  “After all, the country was broke, 14.8 million Americans were stranded on the unemployment line, and Barack Obama and the Democrats were trying to recover the populist high ground after their bitch-whipping in Massachusetts by calling for a “bailout tax” on banks.” 

    (I cannot bother to type the second example, in less than 2 (two) pages, referencing one’s wife having sex with a 300-pound plummer; same old Taibbi.)

  • sowsear

    The question is when would Congress be making time to rewrite that law so that the Supreme Court will not throw it down again. Congress cannot see the forest; they see the trees: Obamacare, Cap n Trade, Patriot Act, expanding war, and on and on.

  • Docelder

    I have come full circle here. I think I would have worded that no trust differently. I think that here are good people in government. I think the system is broken. I think the system being broken, you can’t always trust the outcome, regardless of how good the people in the jobs may be. We do need government, we just don’t need so much of it. But, for goodness sakes bring back Glass-Steagall before we wake up in the poorhouse.

  • Diana L. C.

    It really is a sad day when we have to admonish ourselves and our children not to trust our government.  Where is Free-dumb fighter on this thread?  Where is Prime Lobotomized on this thread?  P.O., if you’re reading and are afraid to post on this one, here’s another reason for tea parties.

  • Captain Jack Sparrow

    Larry Doyle

    I also agree that this was a financial transaction and not a regulatory function. Where is the regulatory function? Am I missing something here?  Ok so what was it in this case?  Bad lawyer’ing? A Judge like the SEC IG who does not get it? Is pursuing the truth a lost cause these days?

    Or all of the above?

  • LoveAmerica

    NO ONE WOULD LISTEN: A TRUE FINANCIAL THRILLER

    Harry Markopolos’ newest book. 

  • Larry Doyle

    Sowsear, 

    The quick Reader’s Digest version that the judge is alluding to is that the regulatory functions of FINRA are covered by immunity. The lawyers for the plaintiff have tried to make the case that this specific case fell outside of their regulatory function and were financial in nature.

    Where do Ms. Schapiro and FINRA get this immunity? Taken straight from Judge Rakoff’s ruling released yesterday:

    “According to the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, the SEC is authorized to delegate certain regulatory functions to SROs (self-regulatory organizations) which are therefore considered quasi-governmental bodies. As a result, SROs and their officers are absolutely immune from private damages suits challenging official conduct performed within the scope of their regulatory function.”

    I strongly disagree and believe this merger was a financial transaction, not a regulatory function. If you’d like to read Judge Rakoff’s 3-page ruling, you can access it here.

  • jbjd

    helenk, this was a great article by Matt Taibbi.  Between watching Congressional hearings on C-Span; and reading articles like this, finally, I get it.

  • Captain Jack Sparrow

    “This is the House that Lies built.  We’re all living in it.  And when it comes tumbling down, we’re all going to get hurt.  To say I’m discouraged would be a gross understatement. ”

    DITTO! BIG DITTO!!!

  • sowsear

    Larry,
    Is there a short version why Mary Shapiro/FINRA have immunity??

  • Tricia

    Wow, Larry D. Thanks for this.  Harry M has been my hero (replacing, sadly, the libidinously adventurous Elliot Spitzer) ever since I first knew about it.  I will be buying that book for sure.

    Thanks again for a great story, Larry D!

  • sowsear

    re-disorganized, whew! or should we hold our noses? 

  • tango

    Hmmm, if anyone should know not to trust the government to protect your best interests, it’s Markopolos.   Here’s his interview with Racheal Maddow last night:

    http://www.shallownation.com/2010/03/01/harry-markopolos-on-rachel-maddow-show-video-msnbc-interview-3-1-10/

    Love when he says the “SEC has re-disorganized itself” in response to the scandal but noone has been fired.  That’s why I want to work for the government. So I can not do my job and still get to keep it.  

    And here’s his interview on Morning Joe earlier today:

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/3036789/vp/35660725#35660725

  • mortuus lark

    Don’t trust your government 
     
    He he he. I love it when a plan comes together. 
     
    Some people want to wear the name mortuus but they just don’t fit into it since hypocrites are oversized to wear it.

    Don’t even think of applying. =-X

  • mortuus lark

    Don’t trust your government

    He he he. I love it when a plan comes together.

    Some people want to wear the name mortuus but they just don’t fit into it since hypocrites are oversized to wear it.

  • helenk

    From Joey at Uppity Women the other night.

    http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/story/32255149/wall_streets_bailout_hustle/print

    WOMEN WITH INTELLIGENCE AND EXPERIENCE,MEN WHO SUPPORT THEM AND COUNTRY BEFORE PARTY ALWAYS

    PUMAS,BUBBAS,EQUALISTS AND THOSE PEOPLE RULE

  • mortuus lark

    He he he. I love it when a plan comes together.

  • Peggy Sue

    It should be dawning on people at this point in time that Harry Markopolos’ statement “don’t trust your Government” is not simply a comment applied to the past but fully applicable in the now.  It gives me no pleasure to say that.  I’m not an anti-government screecher or an anarchist.  But the level of corruption and rot is systemic.  Why didn’t Lauer pursue Mr. Markolpolis’s comment?  Because these people aren’t interested in digging for the truth. It might crimp their lifestyles.

    This is the House that Lies built.  We’re all living in it.  And when it comes tumbling down, we’re all going to get hurt.  To say I’m discouraged would be a gross understatement.

    But Larry, keep fighting the good fight.  Because in the end that’s the only thing we can do.

  • sowsear

    And so depressing. I feel we’re heading off the cliff.

  • helenk

    OT
    http://news.sky.com/skynews/Home/UK-News/Anti-Terror-Fatwa-Islamic-Scholar-Ul-Qadri-To-Denounce-Suicide-Bombers-As-Unbelievers/Article/201003115564324?lpos=UK_News_First_Home_Article_Teaser_Region_6&lid=ARTICLE_15564324_Anti-Terror_Fatwa%3A_Islamic_Scholar_Ul_Qadri_To_Denounce_Suicide_Bombers_As_Unbelievers

    It is about damn time. I guess the sick twists that use religion as a reason to  kill will threaten him now. Will other muslims stand up and decry terrorist actions? Is this a first step I hope.

    WOMEN WITH INTELLIGENCE AND EXPERIENCE,MEN WHO SUPPORT THEM AND COUNTRY BEFORE PARTY ALWAYS

    PUMAS,BUBBAS,EQUALISTS AND THOSE PEOPLE RULE

  • Captain Jack Sparrow

    Just the tip of the iceberg!