How Madoff got away with it: SEC report, phone transcript reveal all

Last week, we reported that Bernie Madoff once bragged that he was in the running to become head of the Securities and Exchange Commission. While future historians may argue about whether the disgraced financier and Ponzi schemer would have used his ill-gotten expertise to increase the SEC's effectiveness, there's little doubt that he had a very clear understanding of how it ran.

The SEC released a 477-page report late last week that explained how it had missed Madoff's massive fraud. In so doing, it also took the first institutional steps toward explaining the apparent incompetence of the two groups that should have caught on to Madoff's scheme: the government and the companies that fed him clients.