Inexperience. Incompetence. Laziness. All were cited as reasons behind the Securities and Exchange Commission’s failure to detect Bernard Madoff’s $50 billion Ponzi scheme at a packed hearing Thursday before the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs.

“There can be no excuse for that colossal failure,” said chairman Christopher Dodd, D-Conn. “How could this possibly have happened? And what can we do to minimize this ever happening again?”

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