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Financial 411: A Look at Madoff's Effect on Financial Regulations

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Markets

Stocks kept their earlier gains, as Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke repeated the central bank's view that there's little evidence of inflation, and that it does not plan to raise interest rates any time soon. It was Bernanke's first news conference, and he fielded questions for nearly an hour.

The Dow Jones added 96 points, to 12,691.
The S&P 500 added 8 points, to 1,356.
The NASDAQ improved by 22 points, closing at 2,870.

The Wizard of Lies

New York Times journalist Diana Henriques is the only reporter to interview Ponzi mastermind Bernard Madoff twice from prison. She details how Madoff pulled off his scheme for so long and what led to his undoing in her new book "The Wizard of Lies: Bernie Madoff and the Death of Trust."

Henriques explained how Madoff's knowledge of financial regulations helped him avoid detection: "He knew exactly what regulators would expect to find in the files," she said. "He also knew where they would not look."

Preventing future Ponzi Schemes, she said, remains a challenge. "It will not be easy, and it will ultimately be an individual responsibility," she said. "Ponzi schemes live on trust."

Henriques also talks about how much Madoff's scheme has influenced financial regulations, and what reforms aren't being addressed. 

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