Monday Post: Lawyers and Life

First the lawyer part:

– The Office of Investigation for the SEC released a report which details the SEC’s response to the Stanford Ponzi scheme and it’s not pretty. It is particularly critical of the former head of enforcement in the SEC’s Fort Worth office, Spencer Barasch. Bottom line: The Fort Worth office declined to pursue clear evidence of the Stanford Ponzi scheme dating back to 1997. And Spencer Barasch was at the center of most of those decisions. In fact, Barasch participated in a decision not to investigate Stanford even after the SEC received a letter from a Stanford insider that claimed that Stanford was involved in a massive Ponzi scheme.

-During the period of time the SEC deliberately turned a blind eye the  Stanford Ponzi scheme grew from $250 million to $1.5 billion.

-Barasch is now a lawyer with Andrews & Kurth in Dallas.

-Okay. So it’s one thing to be grossly incompetent, but were the actions of Barasch more than that? Consider: When Barasch left the SEC he tried to represent Stanford in matters before the SEC. What? He even claimed that during his tenure he had not been involved in any matters involving Stanford which would conflict him out of representing Stanford. The SEC disagreed. When attempting to explain his desire to represent Stanford in spite of the obvious conflict, Barasch stated: “Every lawyer in Texas and beyond is going to get rich over this case. And I hated being on the sidelines.”

-Who hires lawyers like this?

Now the life part:

– A girl who attends the same school as my kids was diagnosed with cancer on Friday.

-It’s difficult when your kids look to you for answers as to why this happens, and you can’t really find any.

-I dropped my daughter at Cook Children’s hospital yesterday to visit this girl. We drove through the Sunday afternoon quiet of the  neighborhood near the hospital. Then as we turned the corner we saw a huge carnival on the front lawn of the hospital. There were parents and kids everywhere. Many of the kids were in various stages of illness. It was like someone peeled back a huge black curtain to reveal a part of life I never see.

-This morning, thousands of kids are sitting in a doctor’s office or a hospital waiting for a test or an operation or chemotherapy and they are anxious and scared. I need to pray for those people more often. And I need to be more aware of them.

-I’m reminded this morning of a quote from Warren Zevon as he faced his own mortality. David Letterman asked him whether he had a different understanding now than before his illness. His reply: “Just how much you’re supposed to enjoy every sandwich.”


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