Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Cities Tolerate Homeless Camps – Madoff wowed young regulators

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Last summer, police responding to complaints about campfires under a highway overpass found dozens of homeless people living on public land along the Cumberland River.

Eviction notices went up -- and then were suspended by Nashville Mayor Karl Dean, a Democrat, who said housing for the homeless should be found first.

A year later, little has been found -- and Nashville, with help from local nonprofits, is now servicing a tent city, arranging for portable toilets, trash pickup, a mobile medical van and visits from social workers. Volunteers bring in firewood for the camp's 60 or so dwellers.

YOUNG, inexperienced government regulators were so wowed by Bernard Madoff's ritzy Midtown headquarters that they asked about job openings and dropped off resumes while missing clear evidence he was running a massive Ponzi scheme, a new book claims.