MarketWatch commentator David Weidner says that Harry Markopolos, the man who reportedly tried to warn the Securities and Exchange Commission -- several times -- about Bernard Madoff's alleged Ponzi scheme, should "head whatever government agency is responsible for checking up on Wall Street." Setting aside for a moment the fact that the Senate has already confirmed Mary Schapiro as SEC chief, I think he has a good point.
Here's the argument:
Markopolos not only knew exactly what Madoff was doing, he knew what regulators weren't doing and why... He took Capitol Hill by storm Wednesday, unleashing a double blow of written and spoken testimony that painted a devastating picture of... Madoff and unleashed withering criticism of the Securities and Exchange Commission and Financial Industry Regulatory Authority.
Weidner then bemoans Schapiro's appointment and confirmation, arguing that, though she may have been tough on a lot of small violations while at FINRA, she also let "huge frauds" go unpunished. He says the government should do whatever it takes to put Markopolos in a top spot:
Call upon his sense of duty to his country. This is the only guy who has a track record of seeing the B.S. of con artists and regulators for what it really is. Let him run the SEC from Boston. Accommodate his family. Give him anything.
It's unrealistic to think the new SEC chair would be unseated so soon, but even if a "top" job is unavailable, would it not be wise to get Markopolos into the regulatory mix somewhere?
Then again, maybe a MarketWatch reader known as Chainsaw is right. In a comment, Chainsaw says:
"[T]the guy is like a laser cutting through butter. He is precise and concise...He would never be welcomed in Washington."