On February 1st, a seemingly routine news report that David Becker, the SEC’s general counsel, is somewhat abruptly leaving his position to return to unspecified “private sector” employment.
Today, the Brits break the news story on the reason: Becker’s parents and probably him apparently made $1.5 million investing with Bernie Madoff, a small time ponzi architect (small time compared with the US government, that is), and the bankruptcy trustee is suing Becker to get it back. Madoff was one of the SEC’s most spectacular failures. He operated for years without the SEC doing anything about him, even after repeated and detailed reports to the agency.
Note this little tidbit from the Bloomberg article:
The complaint in bankruptcy court, dated Nov. 12, alleges that the Beckers “have received $1,544,494 of other people’s money,” and seeks to return the funds to other defrauded Madoff investors.
So this story has been kicking around the US since at least November, but nobody in the American press said a word about it over here until a few hours after the British tabloid press reported it?
Fair inference: the American press would never have reported it at all except for the fact that the Brits went with the story. The American press covers up the misdeeds of selected American officials. Even the perceived misdeeds.
Until they think they can’t get away with covering it up anymore.
Sadly, and as noted elsewhere in these pages with links to Matt Taibbi, this is typical and all too common. The American press, with a few notable exceptions, is an embarrassment. Ironic, when you consider that the US is home to the freedom of the press and the 1st Amendment. Or sad.