“The whole government is a Ponzi scheme”: Madoff

Man behind world’s biggest Ponzi scheme tells his side of the story

“Bernard L. Madoff is in therapy,” starts a feature in the latest issue of New York magazine. What follows are the revelations writer Steve Fishman captured from Bernie Madoff himself, in a series of phone calls he shared with the 72-year-old inmate. Strapped with a 150-year prison sentence for committing a $65 billion Ponzi scheme—the biggest act of financial fraud in history—Madoff recounts the rationalizations that led to his demise. One of his most startling comments seemed to imply it was his clients’ fault for trusting him. “Look, these banks and these funds had to know there were problems,” he said. “I wouldn’t give them any facts, like how much volume I was doing. I was not willing to have them come up and do the due diligence that they wanted. I absolutely refused to do it. I said, ‘You don’t like it, take your money out,’ which of course they never did.” And besides, he also says, his clients were rich: “Look, none of my clients, even if they lost every penny they put in there, can plead poverty,” he said. “Look, it doesn’t mean I’m excusing what I did, doesn’t mean I don’t feel sorry for them. I’m embarrassed … It was the people that came in very late in the game that got hurt.”

New York magazine

The Atlantic

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