Financial Fraud Task Force - Now What?
So, now what?
Seriously, who exactly is on this task force and what, realistically, can we expect it to accomplish?
I don't think we can expect much from this task force. It's got all the requisite elements for being too large, too amorphous, too political and too ... government.
What we know: It's headed by the Department of Justice (DoJ) and includes members representing over 20 federal departments and agencies, including all of the banking regulatory agencies - with the noted exception of the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA). That's a big group.
And we know the task force is charged with convening its first meeting sometime within the next month, and to hold subsequent meetings as deemed appropriate. The group's mission: to work with federal, state and local law enforcement to investigate and prosecute significant financial crimes. That's a broad agenda.
Given the members and the mission, I don't think we can expect much from this task force. It's got all the requisite elements for being too large, too amorphous, too political and too ... government.
I mean, why do I envision the scene out of "Blazing Saddles" where Mel Brooks turns to one of his political minions and barks "I didn't hear a harumph out of that guy ... ?"
Plus let's face it: We're closing the barn door a year after one of the biggest horses, Bernie Madoff, escaped having pulled off the biggest financial fraud in history. Where was this task force when Madoff was fleecing his investors?
Maybe I'm just jaded - and I'd love for you to set me straight. But my experience with government task forces is that they become a lot of talk about tasks without ever really accomplishing any of them.
I'd love to be proved wrong.
New PCI Webinar, Research
While I'm here, let me draw your attention to a new webinar that debuts next week dedicated to trends in the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI).
PCI 2010: Trends and Technologies is a new panel discussion hosted by me and focusing on where we see the PCI discussion turning in the new year - specifically, from the merchant's perspective.
This is the session the late David Taylor was supposed to participate in. Since his passing, he's been replaced by industry luminaries Anton Chuvakin, who literally has written the book on PCI compliance; and Derek Brink of Aberdeen, bringing an analyst's perspective to the topic.
Speaking of Aberdeen, the group is currently running its third annual benchmark study of PCI and Protecting Cardholder Data. Anyone wishing to participate in this survey may do so by visiting this link. All respondents will receive a full copy of the final report upon publication, on or about December 1.