After Madoff, SEC gets a little more bite

In the wake of the Bernie Madoff scandal, it looks like the SEC may be getting some new weapons. Because of a new rule, the agency's investigations will no longer be held up by political maneuvering between people or companies being investigated and SEC commissioners. On Wednesday, Enforcement Division Director Robert Khuzami told members of the New York Bar Association that he now has the authority to issue formal orders of investigation and that he intends to "delegate that authority to senior officers throughout the division."

This new power is a direct result of the failure to expose Madoff and his Ponzi scheme. Khuzami told his audience that "if defense counsel resist the voluntary production of documents or witnesses, or fail to be complete and timely in responses or engage in dilatory tactics, there will very likely to be a subpoena on your desk the next morning."