More documents involved in the investigation of Wall Street con artist Bernard Madoff were released last week - and they confirm suspicions that federal regulators were asleep at the switch while Madoff was bilking investors out of hundreds of millions of dollars.
Madoff is serving a 150-year prison sentence. He has been interviewed by investigators trying to find out whether the Securities and Exchange Commission was guilty of negligence in failing to stop him.
There is ample evidence that SEC regulators gave Madoff free passes. A report released last week, involving a prison interview with Madoff, makes that clear. He told an investigator that he had "too much credibility" with regulators, who "dismissed" the possibility that he was engaged in fraud.
For months, federal agencies have been demanding more power - and more taxpayers' money - to regulate the financial industry. None of that should be granted until agencies such as the SEC provide satisfactory explanations - if that is possible - of why they failed to use their existing power to stop Madoff.