Meet Meaghan Cheung, whom Lawrence Auster succinctly calls "the SEC's female Inspector Clouseau." Read about how Cheung gave Madoff a clean bill of health despite explicit warnings from Henry Markopolous. Read about how Markopolous wrote in an e-mail, "In my conversations with her, I did not believe that she had the derivatives or mathematical background to understand the violation." Then read about how Cheung's response to all of this is not to say, "Gee, did I really know what the heck I was doing?" but rather is to break out the violins, appeal to chivalry, and tell the New York Post how she burst into tears on the airplane with her children when she read about Markopolous's e-mail in the New York Times. She also tells us about how hard she's worked for ten years for her career and reputation and how this has destroyed her reputation in a month. And how.
Do I know for a fact that Cheung got where she is by affirmative action--somewhere along the way, perhaps at multiple points along the way? No, in the sense that I have no other specific evidence about Cheung. But I have seen so many cases in academe of women who are given a pass, who are pushed ahead above their level of competence, and I can only imagine how much stronger the pressures for that sort of thing must be in government. And whom does it hurt? Maybe now we know.