Time to Clean House at the CFTC

While most of the American media focused much of the past week on where Mitt Romney invested his money, or exactly what his role was at Bain Capital a decade and a half ago, another major financial scandal has hit the American financial markets with little to no fanfare.
For the second time in less than a year, a large Futures Commission Merchant (FCM) has collapsed after firm officials stole customer money to fund business operations and their exorbitant lifestyles. 
With last week’s collapse of Peregrine Financial, the U.S. Congress should be asking, “Do any of the field examiners and their managers at the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) have any clue what they are doing, particularly since they signed off on the firm’s financial statements as recently as January 2012?”
Peregrine collapsed after its founder could no longer hide his theft of approximately $200 million in customer funds.  In a detailed suicide note outlined in Russell Wasendorf, Sr.’s federal arrest affidavit, he admitted he was able to fool incompetent government regulators for a period of twenty years using nothing more than a post office box, a scanner, Photoshop, Excel, and an inkjet printer.
As a certified public accountant (CPA), I am stupefied at the sheer lack of sophistication used in this fraud.  As a taxpayer, I am horrified by the absolute lack of competence or pure laziness exhibited by regulators at the CFTC.

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