I haven’t posted here to date on the Bernie Madoff scandal. No sense writing a huge amount on the topic at this point – it’s been well covered elsewhere. Let’s just summarize my feelings as:
- We will never see an end to Ponzi schemes, because they work.
- This exposes some of the flaws in the fund of fund approach to hedge funds. Picking a manager is almost impossible, adding a level indirection truly is. (courtesy Dave Swensen)
- The level of scandal for absconding with billions is historic. The number of charity dollars, particularly from the Jewish community, is truly shocking, and likely deserves its own, new circle of hell (for those Dante fans).
- There is no punishment that can fit this crime. The impact will literally be felt by millions.
- This failure will likely be used as a scapegoat and excuse to permanently damage the hedge fund industry in ways that may materially harm our markets for decades. (knee-jerk, political grandstanding regulation)
- We still haven’t heard the worst of it.
Now, among friends, I’ve joked that while I’ve heard the expression “death by a thousand cuts”, this situation seems to be a good opportunity to actually test that theory out. (yes, dark humor)
For my birthday, my brother actually forwarded me this Youtube video, and I couldn’t stop laughing. So I’m posting it here, since it seems to have a shockingly low view count.