Streams

"The Madoff Affair"

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Frontline correspondent Martin Smith joins us to discuss "The Madoff Affair," his investigation into the story behind the global Ponzi scheme—a deception that lasted longer, reached wider, and cut deeper than any other business scandal in history. "The Madoff Affair" airs tonight, May 12th, on PBS stations. Check local listings.

Guests:

Martin Smith

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Comments [14]

noelle newell from Easton,CT

I don't think everyone invested their money w. him was greedy. Some perhaps, they thought they were doing the right thing. If I go into a store and order a piece of furniture and plop a lot of money for it I am trusting that it will be delivered. Everyday we wake up we proceed with our day with trust that the sun will rise and set, that we will go on usually pretty much as usual. We don't think that someone is out to cheat us swindle us...we live by in large on trust and continue to do so. It's a beautiful thing now and then some idiot comes a long a ruins it for many. I don't think we should blame the victims. We should be empathetic and concerned for them.

May. 12 2009 03:21 PM
hjs from 11211

do i care? no
people should be more careful with who they give their money to.

May. 12 2009 12:57 PM
jgarbuz from Queens

The question I wish somebody would ask is, knowing that the US economy since the inception of the Republic has grown at an average annual rate of some 3% a year, how can anyone be so stupid as to believe that they can consistently get ridiculous returns of 7%-24% virtually without interruption? Sure you can go into a casino and beat the odds for a period of time on a "hot streak." But in the long run, you cannot beat The House. You must lose over the long run.
The Casino always wins for as long as they can keep the suckers keep coming. The whole "financial industry" is nothing but a big Ponzi scheme. The only hope is FDIC backed banks.

May. 12 2009 12:45 PM
db from nyc

a.k.a. GREED!

May. 12 2009 12:40 PM
JP from The Garden State

It’s a shame for the third party investors that didn’t even know they had money invested in this scheme. But why should I feel sorry for the people who invested directly into the scheme thinking there’s nothing wrong with the consistent but yet obviously ludicrous and unrealistic high returns? Is their loss not the product of their greed?

May. 12 2009 12:39 PM
db from nyc

... what happened to the $$$?

May. 12 2009 12:39 PM
db from nyc

Surely, there were plenty of victims who didn't even know their assets had been placed with Madoff.

But why wouldn't these larger investors do their due diligence before investing millions. With Madoff's long guarantee of unbelievable returns, many of these folks didn't mind that the accounting firm was a store front out in Long Island instead of Deloitte & Touche. They continued to invest simply because they were GREEDY!

Yet another example of the sense of entitlement the rich maintain in this corrupt financial system!

May. 12 2009 12:36 PM
Carol from Brooklyn

OK, you just answered my question, but I am not sure I agree with you.

May. 12 2009 12:32 PM
Carol from Brooklyn

The biggest mystery to me is: didn't Madoff realize that sooner or later his fraud would be uncovered? Aren't Ponzi schemes inherently limited in how long they can continue? Like a pyramid scheme.

May. 12 2009 12:31 PM
Harvey Wolchan from Yorktown Heights

Did Bernie assume that he was eventually going to be found out, but just wanted to greatly improve his standard of living as long as he could and until being found out?

May. 12 2009 12:20 PM
Hugh from Brookyn

Again, it must be noted that the Times and the Journal were expressly informed of the very details of the Madoff scam _years ago_>

Harry Markopolos testified in Washington on the details of the Madoff scandal.

The Times and the Journal continue to ignore queries on this.

Will Frontline also prove again to be spineless when it comes to challenging American power?

May. 12 2009 12:19 PM
fuva from Harlem, NY

Notion that his sons did not know about fraudulent activity is incredible. Sons, wife, etc. didn't know about working of so apparently successful an operation? Either they are exceptionally incurious or stupid. Also, employees are saying that the investment op was shrouded in secrecy - enough to raise reasonable suspicion.

May. 12 2009 12:14 PM
Vinny from Manalapan,NJ

So in Madoffs early days he was making 20 percent returns? Was this legit back then, or was he scamming from the beginning?

May. 12 2009 12:11 PM
Hugh from Brookyn

Will Martin Smith and Frontline cover how The New York Times and the Wall Street Journal sat on news about Madoff (after being expressly, explicitly informed by whistleblower Harry Markopolos)?

Or will Frontline drop the ball -- again -- as it did in its too little too late reporting on the Iraq war and its pro-insurance propaganda on health care in the US?

May. 12 2009 12:11 PM

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