Oligarchs caught in world’s largest…

Oligarchs caught in world’s largest skimming operation

They’ve stolen millions, maybe hundreds of millions. They operate at the highest levels of finance and business. Observers say the whole thing looks like one big criminal operation, and wonder if the whole system isn’t hopelessly corrupt.

Russia? No, the United States.

The mutual fund industry has become the “world’s largest skimming operation,” said Sen. Peter Fitzgerald (R-Ill.), chairman of the Senate subcommittee on financial management, which held the hearing.

Preliminary results of a new SEC survey of the 88 largest mutual fund families and 34 broker-dealers found that one-quarter of responding broker-dealers engaged in improper trading after the 4 p.m. close.

The unholy trinity of illegal late trading, abusive market timing and the latest self-dealing practices that have recently come to light are matters that affect us all,” testified Stephen Cutler, director of the Security and Exchange Commission’s division of enforcement.