Should Corporate Whistleblowers Get Big Payoffs?

Have the Dodd-Frank financial reforms made it too easy for whistleblowers? Believe it or not, some critics are claiming this, citing the fact that the Dodd-Frank allows whistleblowers to receive a share of federal penalties or fines levied. In May, under the Dodd-Frank law, the SEC announced a program to make payments to whistleblowers who tips lead to at least $1 million fines, and the whistleblowers aren’t required to file internal complaints with their employers first.

But all it takes is a look at the Bernard Madoff scandal to know that the Dodd-Frank incentives aren’t superfluous–but absolutely necessary. The wreckage that occurs when the smart people fail to say something is made vivid in the best Madoff book to date–Wizard of Lies by Diana B. Henriques.

The extraordinary reporting in her account includes the author’s interviews with Madoff, family members, government regulators, whistleblowers, and other key players in the case. Henriques recounts how incredibly savvy financiers were willingly duped and refused to accept the obvious. (Read more…)

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