New SEC Enforcement COO From... Goldman?

Somewhere Matt Taibbi just had an "Aha!" moment, or an aneurism. Apparently the Goldman-Washington conspiracy continues. Bloomberg reports that the Securities and Exchange Commission, probably the most major Wall Street watchdog, has hired a former Goldman employee to act as the Chief Operating Officer for its enforcement division. All of Madoff's former employees must have already busy.

Here's the news blurb:

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission hired Adam Storch, a 29-year-old former employee in Goldman Sachs Group Inc.'s business intelligence unit, as the enforcement division's first chief operating officer, according to people familiar with the decision.

The COO, who started Oct. 13, has "a great deal of background" in technology and managing processes and the pace of work, Robert Khuzami, head of enforcement, said yesterday in Washington. Storch, who worked since 2004 in a unit at Goldman Sachs that reviewed contracts and transactions for signs of fraud, will be charged with making the unit more efficient. Storch, reached by telephone at the SEC, declined to comment.

I'm not sure what's scarier, that this guy worked at an investment bank that many believe has questionable ethics and too cozy a Washington connection, or that he's just 29. His "great deal of background" must be those seven long years since college ended.

I don't mean to be too judgmental. I mean, this guy could be a fraud detection prodigy. If he worked at Goldman, chances are he can't be too inept. Besides, just this week I argued that it's okay for Wall Streeters to join the government, because it can use smarter people who have actually worked in the market.

Yet, detecting fraud is all about having seen a lot of different things so you know what to look for. So I'd be a little more concerned about someone at this level being in his 20s than having worked on Wall Street. But let's hope Storch can prove critics like me wrong and catch the next Madoff.