August 24, 2011
Maybe you don’t know who Harry Markopolos is, but if you’ve heard of Bernie Madoff, you should certainly know. He’s the man who tried to tell the Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) for 10 years that Madoff was stealing money — long before Madoff turned himself in. And on CNBC’s Squawk Box this morning, it seemed obvious that Michelle Caruso-Cabrera didn’t care too much for Markopolos. Surprise, surprise!
In the event you are not familiar with Markopolos, lets start with his testimony (PDF) before the House of Representatives Committee on Financial Services on February 4, 2009. (The PDF document is very big with lots of charts, and takes a minute or so to download. You can also see video of his testimony here.). Markopolos laid out charts showing a timeline of his investigation into Madoff beginning as far back as 1999, and supplied documented evidence of what he found which was enough to put any regular person in jail for 99 years. Then theirs his statement (PDF) before the Senate Finance Committee on March 21, 2009. The bottom line is that Madoff would have been caught, arrested and sent to jail years earlier had the SEC listened to Markopolos. But as I pointed out here, Markopolos said “the SEC’s position was that they didn’t go after people as big as Madoff, no matter how corrupt or guilty they were.”
Any way, Markopolos sat and spoke calm this morning while Caruso-Cabrera tried her best to demean and embarrass him. Thankfully Joe Kernen wasn’t there today to double-team Markopolos. Watch the video and pay particular attention to Caruso-Cabrera as she performs her favorite facial expression of sticking her tongue under her top lip when she thinks she fired one of her best shots.