Madoff's 'Seismic Shift' On SEC, Compliance Still Felt Today

By Al Barbarino and Dean Seal (April 15, 2021, 11:11 PM EDT) -- Word of Bernie Madoff's death on Wednesday brought back painful memories of a Ponzi scheme that not only swindled investors out of billions but also blindsided and embarrassed regulators, prompting sweeping reforms of how they policed the investment industry.

After the scheme's 2008 collapse and the subsequent fallout came lasting changes that continue to hold sway over financial regulatory agencies and the firms they oversee. Watchdogs like the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission ramped up their focus on similar crimes and installed checks and balances to monitor purported asset flows among investment advisers, their clients and counterparties.

"It's almost hard to...

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