GUEST BLOG: Hiding the Historic Madoff Settlement

February 10, 2009



By Peter J. Chepucavage  

The SEC Madoff settlement release posted yesterday may seem anticlimactic to many given what we now know. But for those of us with over 30 years experience, it marks a major event in regulation. It is the first time that a Wall Street CEO has been seriously sanctioned personally. This time a senior bad guy was barred and now we know what it takes. 

  • Not the Milken scandal;
  • not the NASDAQ price fixing scandal;
  • not the Investment Banking research tech bubble scandal;
  • not the subprime crisis;
  • not the auction rate securities scandal;
  • not the mutual fund market timing affair;
  • not the prudential partnerships event; and
  • not the abusive short selling of Lehman--

no, it takes the theft of 50 billion dollars to get a bar for Wall Street.

Yet the financial news media does not seem to recognize how historic an event this is. Indeed, we suspect that the regulators themselves would prefer not to admit the significance of the event and, thereby, draw more attention to the event. The Madoff settlement was noted with minimum publicity--but at least now we know what it takes.

About the Author:

Peter J. Chepucavage
Plexus Consulting Group, LLC

1620 Eye Street, NW
Suite 210
Washington, DC 20006
Phone:  1.202-785-8940
Fax:      1.202-785-8949

has 30 years of experience in both the public and private sectors of the securities industry. He has worked for the National Association of Securities Dealers (NASD) and U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), as well as a private law firm and a major international investment bank. He is familiar with all aspects of broker-dealer and hedge fund regulation, including broker dealer operations and stock loans.

Chepucavage was also heavily involved in the post-9/11 efforts by the securities industry to strengthen their resilience to terrorist attacks. He is a General Counsel to the firm and the head of its broker-dealer/hedge fund compliance and expert testimony sections.

Chepucavage most recently worked as an Attorney Fellow in the SEC's Division of Market Regulation where his main projects were post-9/11 resiliency and short sales, including the drafting of Reg. SHO. Prior to his position at the SEC, he practiced at Fulbright & Jaworski in New York city. At various times between 1984-1997, he was a managing director in charge of Nomura Securities' legal, compliance and audit functions and served on its management and credit committees. He also worked with its derivatives' affiliate.

Mr. Chepucavage has been a member of many Securities Industry Association (SIA) and other regulatory and legal securities industry committees and written extensively about regulation. One of his main interests is the effect of regulation on small businesses and he provides regulatory advice to small and medium enterprises, including Washington representation. Mr. Chepucavage also served as an Assistant General counsel with the NASD, a law clerk to Judge George R. Gallagher (D.C. Court of Appeals), and as an infantry officer in South Korea.

Peter Chepucavage is also a member of the advisory board of The Public Company Management Corporation (OTCBB:PUBC), an emerging company providing consulting and advising services to companies seeking to access public capital markets.