Wednesday, February 4, 2009


Listening to this man's testimony (Feb. 4, 2009) was fascinating, not just for what he did but for who he is. This is a man who is so close to being your typical web jerk that is easy to understand why he might have been ignored.

He honestly believed that he was endangering his life by reporting on Madow.

He left an envelope for the head of the SEC in a library he thought the man would be at, and made sure he left no fingerprints.

He offered to go undercover (change his name, appearance, leave his family), etc., to expose the fraud for the sake of the country.

He doesn't know the people at the SEC but he is confident that ALL of the senior staff should be dismissed and that all of them are so dumb they couldn't find first base in a baseball stadium.

For anybody who spends much time on internet forums, these characteristics and the sense of self-righteousness, are all too common of a certain kind of net flake. That he supplied the SEC with detailed information backing up his allegations doesn't change this. Indeed, it is typical. There are people on the web who can write pages and pages and pages of complex text and calculations proving that perpetual motion machines do work and the earth does not revolve around the sun. (Pharyngula regularly exposes the "intellectual" diatribes of anti-evolutionists.)

I don't mean to excuse the SEC. They are clearly understaffed. They get hundreds of thousands of complaints and I don't even know if they have a method for logging them into a central database (issuer of the complaint, nature of the complaint, object, documentation, etc.) But Markopolos's personality and his persistence are so typical of a certain kind of internet pest that I can partly understand why he was ignored.


Anonymous said...

Haha Mr Maddox, masquerading as YAB to sow suspicions about your bete-noir?

OSR said...

Interesting. These are the first negative words I've read about Markopolos anywhere. The reason I was looking is because some of what he was saying was crap. Honestly, it looked he was being played like a fiddle by several of the Congressman.

YAB said...

I couldn't help it.

He clearly did his homework and he was right on the money.

But when this guy explained in his opening statement how his intelligence background had taught him to create a team, how to collect evidence, etc. - to say nothing of the paranoia, the tracking down of the SEC head to a library and leaving a package for him (minus fingerprints or name) - well, these are not the behaviors or attitudes of a man to whom I would be inclined to give much credence.

He sounded too much like the thousands (tens of thousands?) of conspiracy nuts on the net.

And, having been on the receiving end of pages of justifications of totally illogical propositions, I know that extensive documentation is not proof of anything.

I guess it just goes to prove that even the paranoid can be right sometimes.