Ok - we've had collapsed banks, big bailouts, melt down on wall street but now we have (alleged) fraud and on a massive scale.
A $50bn scale!
''Mr Madoff told senior employees, including his sons, that his investment management firm had lost $50bn over a number of years, according to court documents. Prosecutors alleged that he said his operations were “just one big lie” and “basically a giant Ponzi scheme” – where investment managers pay old investors with money raised from new investors.''
Whats absolutely incredible about all this is not so much the size of the fraud but the extent of it.
Mr Madoff conned a huge number of very very experienced people, institutions and authorities big time.
HSBC, BNP Paribas, Nicola Horlick (!) Grupo Santandar. RBS (£400m exposure); Man Group ($360m exposure).
To name but a few.
More astonishingly he also conned the authorities over many many years (which is far more worrying)
How could this happen?
Who knows but there must be lots of egg on alot of important faces this morning. And more shame and embarrassment for the financial sector.
I have one word of explaination: GREED
The investors are not victims they are mugs! Didnt it seem odd to them that Madoff's fund continued to post stellar returns even in these really challenging times?
To perform this well over so many years he was either a genius or a crook and surprise surprise ............!