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Bernie Madoff -- A Cynic's Take: Frauds within Frauds

Over the weekend as a host of reasonably intelligent people and organizations 'fessed up to having been weakened by Bernie, a colleague of mine posited the following plausible take on the Madoff fraud:

While many dopey investors in Madoff's funds thought he was actually running a "split strike option" strategy (and most of those people had no idea what that meant), most of the smart investors didn't. They just thought he was using the trading order flow from his securities firm to run a lucrative insider-trading operation, and they were happy to get a piece of it.

To that way of thinking, the "split strike" thing was seen by wise-guys as just a clumsy cover, but one that they were cool with. And that, while goofy, makes more sense to me than believing that any even marginally clueful investor bought that Madoff was running a strategy that most knew couldn't work the way he claimed it had.

So, imagine how pissed those wise-guy investors were when they found out that Madoff wasn't running the fraud that they thought he was. Instead, he was running a different fraud. Woo-hoo, hell hath no fury like a cynic out-cynic-ed, etc.

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Dr. Kedrosky is currently the Executive Director of the William J. von Liebig Center in San Diego, California. Using an innovative seed capital program, the Center catalyzes the commercialization of technologies from the internationally-ranked University of California, San Diego. Dr. Kedrosky is also a venture investor with Ventures West, Canada's largest institutional venture capital firm, where he is most active in consumer technologies and software. He is currently on the board of Marqui Corporation, a marketing automation software company.
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