Chapter 6 Anything With Four Legs

On an unseasonably cold April morning in 2008, Vince Mc- Gonagle walked through the revolving doors at the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), a modern orange-brick building on a quiet street in Washington. He placed his wallet, glasses and raincoat in a gray tray and walked slowly through the security scanner. After collecting his belongings, McGonagle turned left at the end of the lobby and caught an elevator to the seventh floor, just like he did every day.

Small and wiry with a hangdog expression, McGonagle had been at the enforcement division of the CFTC for 11 years, during which time his red hair had turned gray around the edges. A practicing Catholic, McGonagle got his law degree from Pepperdine University, a Christian school in Malibu, California, where students are prepared for “lives of purpose, service and leadership”. While his classmates took highly paid positions defending companies and individuals accused of corporate corruption, McGonagle opted to build a career bringing cases against them. He joined the agency as a trial attorney and was now, at 44, a manager overseeing teams of lawyers and investigators.

McGonagle closed the door to his office and settled down to read the daily newspaper clippings e-mail. The CFTC, like all enforcement agencies, relies on the press for tips on potential financial malfeasance. It was April 16, 2008, and the headline on page one of The Wall Street Journal read: “Bankers Cast Doubt ...

Get The Fix now with O’Reilly online learning.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from 200+ publishers.