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Here is a letter I wrote and e-mailed Sunday evening to Kathy Kristof, nationally syndicated columnist for the Los Angeles Times:

Dear Ms. Kristof:

Thank you for your Sunday column.

The column, “SEC to step up its fight against fraud” made me curious about something not discussed: Mr. Harry Markopolis is famously the Boston financial professional who tried a number of times — without success — to have the SEC realize that Bernie Madoff was a crook. His thesis? That the SEC had zero employees with degrees in finance (and/or, by implication, with experience and credentials as investment professionals), but many lawyers who may be masters of regulation. My question: Has the SEC added individuals with finance degrees and/or other investment expertise or professional credentials? If so, how many such employees? What is the percentage of the total employee force now who have broad expertise (degrees, hands-on experience or professional designations) in finance and investing now vs. when Madoff was finally caught?