Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Whistle-Blowing Gets More Lucrative

With the economy double-dipping, bank profits screeching to a halt, and unemployment hovering at record high levels, where can enterprising folks look to make the big bucks? And fast? How about a job at the SEC? Not a salaried position. But how about as a consultant working for a contingency fee? One of the nifty new parts of the new Dodd-Frank financial law passed in July is the ability to net as much as 30% of the penalties and recovered funds collected by the SEC in fraud cases. Since the legislation passed in July, there has been a surge in tips from whistle-blowers looking to tip off the SEC to all that fraud that has been operating under its nose since the beginning of time.

"We've gotten some very high-quality tips," said SEC official Stephen Cohen.

Hopefully, it won't take the next financial crisis to unveil the next wave of ponzi schemes that build up during the proceeding bubble. And there will be a bubble. Because you can't have zero interest rates and QE without another bubble somewhere. And you don't have bubbles without hidden ponzi schemes and fraud. But maybe this time, with adequate incentives to folks looking to collect a bounty, the SEC will catch them before they morph into $65 billion ponzi schemes, or $8 billion frauds, or $650 million...well, you already know the story.

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