Senate Banking Committee Grills Regulators on Missing Madoff, Discusses Possibility of Requiring Investment Advisers to Keep Assets at Independent Custodians

On January 27, 2009, the Senate Banking Committee held a hearing to examine Bernard L. Madoff’s alleged $50 billion Ponzi scheme, how it escaped detection for years and what regulatory changes would prevent similar future schemes.  At the hearing, lawmakers discussed the possibility of requiring investment advisers to maintain customers’ securities with independent custodians, rather than at their own brokerage affiliates.  They also urged senior SEC officials to re-evaluate how they prioritize complaints, examinations and inspections.  We describe the hearings in detail, with a particular focus on the discussion of the potential independent custodian requirement.

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