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One of the basic premise which exists in any Police or Investigatory agency is that the records, time and time again, give an extra boost to investigations on people, companies and governments.

If anyone doubted that President Assad was capable of levelling city blocks with artillery, all they had to do was check the newspaper headlines, and they would have found he was simply following in Daddy’s footsteps, as dear old Daddy slaughtered some 20-40,000 of the inhabitants of the city of Hama, to crush their rebellion. Time after time, criminals have been tripped because they have committed the same crimes before, and the paper trail always catches them up.

So it is with some surprise that the officials of National Archives and Records Administration,  (NARA) learnt that the Securities and Exchange Administration (SEC) had been routinely destroying over 9,000 records of people and companies where the investigations had, for whatever reason, had not resulted in a Matter under Investigation (MUI). And the most surprising thing which was done was the destruction was being carried out in the open, not secretly.

If the records had been studied thoroughly before archive filing began, many believe that Bernie Madoff’s trousers would not have achieved the fame they did, Lehmann Brothers might have been saved, and Obama might not have entered the White House.

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3 thoughts on “If it ain’t written; it didn’t happen!

  1. If the records had been studied thoroughly before archive filing began, many believe that Bernie Madoff’s trousers would not have achieved the fame they did, Lehmann Brothers might have been saved …

    Oh they were studied closely alright. That’s how they ended up deep filed and now destroyed.

    And to think, some want even more regulation. It’s the criminal SEC which does the regulating, on behalf of Wall Street oligarchs and DC puppets. More regulation will simply mean more regulatory capture. An example of the sheer corruption of what is now, clearly, a banana republic:

    “For the past two decades, according to a whistle-blower at the SEC who recently came forward to Congress, the agency has been systematically destroying records of its preliminary investigations once they are closed. By whitewashing the files of some of the nation’s worst financial criminals, the SEC has kept an entire generation of federal investigators in the dark about past inquiries into insider trading, fraud and market manipulation against companies like Goldman Sachs, Deutsche Bank and AIG. With a few strokes of the keyboard, the evidence gathered during thousands of investigations – $8,000 … including Madoff,” as one high-ranking SEC official put it during a panicked meeting about the destruction – have apparently disappeared forever into the wormhole of history.”

  2. When the gamekeeper is in the pay of the poachers, this is what happens. Congress is also owned by them.

  3. The SEC and the rating agencies do not exactly attract the best and brightest.

    The SEC, it is reported, is also severely understaffed, by at least 400 employees. The Republicans like it that way, and have the ideal ” small government ” excuse to keep them understaffed.

    There are gross conflicts of interest within the securities firms, in government, in the ratings agencies and in their interactions with one another.

    This has been made worse by deregulation and by the merging of legitimate investing and casino betting activities that are not investing, which are barely understood even by those who participate in them.

    It is very bad.

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