Ignoring warning after warning is an essential element of the "Who Could Have Known?" excuse, as are rewriting history and shamelessly disregarding the foresight shown by those who sounded the alarm bells.
We're seeing the same ingredients in the Madoff affair. "We have worked with Madoff for nearly 20 years," said Jeffrey Tucker, a former federal regulator and the head of an investment firm facing losses of $7.5 billion. "We had no indication that we...were the victims of such a highly sophisticated, massive fraudulent scheme." It's a sentiment echoed by Arthur Levitt, the former chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission: "I've known [Madoff] for nearly 35 years, and I'm absolutely astonished."
Who Could Have Known?
Well, Harry Markopolos, for one. In 1999, after researching Madoff's methods, Markopolos wrote a letter to the SEC saying, "Madoff Securities is the world's largest Ponzi Scheme." He pursued his claims with the feds for the next nine years, with little result.
Jim Vos, another investment adviser who had examined Madoff's firm, says: "There's no smoking gun, but if you added it all up you wonder why people either did not get it or chose to ignore the red flags."
The answer comes from Vos's cohort Jake Walthour Jr., who told HuffPost blogger Vicky Ward: "In a bull market no one bothers to ask how the returns are met, they just like the returns."
Hasn't the "Who Could Have Known?" excuse been exposed as a sham enough times to render it obsolete?
Apparently not. Here come the Bush Legacy Project's revisionists expecting us to believe that everyone thought Saddam had WMD -- even though many were on record saying he didn't.
In the wake of 9/11, Condi Rice assured us nobody "could have predicted" that someone "would try to use an airplane as a missile." Except, of course, the government report that in 1999 said, "Suicide bomber(s) belonging to al Qaeda's Martyrdom Battalion could crash-land an aircraft packed with high explosives (C-4 and semtex) into the Pentagon, the headquarters of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), or the White House."
Monday, December 15, 2008
Arianna says Madoff's downfall reveals the whole Bush era has been one big Ponzi scheme: