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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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