“We are shocked and appalled by this news,” said Jeffrey Tucker, founding partner of
Fairfield Greenwich Group. “We have worked with Madoff for nearly 20 years, investing
alongside our clients. We had no indication that we and many other firms and private
investors were the victims of such a highly sophisticated, massive fraudulent scheme.”
From what I can see, the “highly sophisticated scheme” consisted solely of an inability to explain Madoff’s trading strategy and endless repetition of the mantra, “look at the return history”. When a crook employs a 78-year-old man who spends most of his time in Florida to “audit” $50 billion of assets from a strip mall office in upstate New York, when records are not revealed to anyone and no proof that assets even exist provided to investors, I’m not all that impressed with the guy’s sophistication. I think, instead, that billions of dollars were passed on to him by lazy, stupid people too intent on their own management fees to bother looking at where their clients’ money was going or how it was being safeguarded. It’s enough to tempt me to dust off my license and get back in the game.
How is it that when I hunted wicked people down on Wall Street I mostly dealt with thugs and morons, while friends of mine who worked in the industry were bright, honest people? What I guess I’m asking is, who turned over the monkey house to the inmates? I used to chide myself for being a jealous dolt when I questioned the wealth being generated down there and for thinking that these guys were just moving electrons around on a screen and producing nothing of value. I was obviously too stupid to recognize their genius. But it turns out, the bright, intelligent people I knew weren’t running the show and people like Dickie Fuld were – a man who collected tens of millions of dollars every year for overseeing a business he has admitted he knew nothing about, no idea of the risks his company was subjecting itself to. Same for Merrill Lynch, AIG, and probably (almost) every other investment bank and financial firm on the Street. Were they all run by idiots? If so, how did that come about?
All of my bright, sophisticated readers who know anything about this are welcome to shed light on the matter – it’s beyond me.