Markopolos just put his finger on perhaps the key problem in the SEC’s failure to catch Madoff:
“We need a highly trained finance team that is highly incentivized to look for frauds. Derivatives are too complicated otherwise,” he said. “They had no idea how to do the math.”
In other words, today’s sophisticated Wall Street deals are simply too complex for the SEC’s enforcement staff, as currently composed, to properly understand.
The only way to fix the problem, it appears, is to hire staff with more expertise.