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SEC INCOMPETENCE SEEMS THE ONLY LOGICAL CONCLUSION

SEC should have made Madoff

It's been reported by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission that the agency received six substantial complaints between 1992 and 2008 that could have uncovered Bernie Madoff's Ponzi scheme if the complaints had been properly investigated. Not only did the SEC staffers fail to properly follow up on the complaints, it appears they simply accepted Madoff's answers to their questions. To make matters worse, the SEC had apparently assigned inexperienced staffers who had inadequate knowledge of options trading and Ponzi schemes. Simply put, a competent and thorough investigation was never conducted.

Think about it. Bernie Madoff swindled more than $50 billion from tens of thousands of trusting individuals and organizations and is now serving 150 years in prison. He ruined the lives of so many, it is beyond comprehension. How could one man perpetrate such despicable fraud for so long without being uncovered? I can't think of any answer, other than incompetence. I hope and pray there were no individuals who overlooked Bernie's scheme, kept quiet, and were paid for their silence.

Now, think about this. In a nutshell, the SEC is responsible for overseeing the key players in the world of securities. This includes securities exchanges, securities brokers and dealers, investment advisers and mutual funds. The SEC is supposed to enforce the disclosure of important market information, maintain fair securities dealing, and protect against fraud. What happened? Do the untold thousands of Madoff victims have any recourse against the SEC? Could it be the SEC might eventually be in need of its own "economic stimulus" to pay those it failed to protect?

Jim Ridder, Hudson

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China signs solar deal - story, Sept. 9

Only in 'Chimerica'

My hunch is that without China's money, the agreement could have never been consummated between the Chinese government and First Solar, a Tempe, Ariz., solar developer, for a 2-gigawatt photovoltaic farm to be built in the Mongolian desert to generate enough electricity for about 3 million Chinese homes. It's amazing what can be accomplished in "Chimerica."

JoAnn Lee Frank, Clearwater

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