On Wednesday last week, while most of the nation was transfixed by “stimulus plan” negotiations, the U.S. House Capital Markets Subcommittee held a little-noticed hearing, featuring uber securities sleuth Harry Markopolos, that could rock U.S. securities regulation to its core. As a financial markets player, attorney and professor for over twenty years, I have seen some amazing things in domestic and international financial markets. However . . .
Nothing in my recollection quite equals the drubbing that Markopolos unleashed on the SEC last Wednesday morning. The first 64 pages of Markopolos’ written testimony should be required reading for every financial markets professional and, drumroll, every U.S. senator and representative with a hand in upcoming securities-market legislation. To hear Markopolos tell it, what we need at the SEC is not more money but more brains and fewer arrogant attorneys.