I'm saddened by the devastation in personal fortunes and private foundations due to the Madoff Ponzi scheme. I'm also angered by the SEC's failure to do its job to protect investors and ensure transparency. The ripple effects of this as it moves through the economy will be very real. $50 billion dollars is real money (it could have been used to take over the domestic auto industry and save taxpayers the pain of a car czar, for example.)
I'm heartened, though, by the number of investors who looked at the Madoff firm and declined to invest. I'm confident that many of these investors/managers took some heat from the colleagues and clients as their friends, neighbors, and competitors continued to earn such consistent returns. Despite that, for these brave and insightful people, reason prevailed.
My take on all this is simple ( simplistic, some might say.) Con men and women we will have with us always. Caveat Emptor.
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