16 February 2009

Wall Street Execs Knew Madoff Was a Fraud Years Ago But Kept Silent

There is no way that the top execs on Wall Street did not know Bernie Madoff was running a scam. No way.

Why? Because once they heard he was pulling down those kinds of returns in all types of markets they would have had their own whiz kids climbing up his company's investment portfolio looking to see how he did it. They would want to do it too. It took Markopolos how many minutes to figure out it wasn't legitimate?

But now you know why so few Wall Street firms lost any money with Madoff despite his 'superior returns.'

Why did they keep quiet? Professional courtesy amongst scumbags is not likely, because there isn't any. More likely Bernie knew about some of their frauds, and that made him untouchable.

If they dig deeply enough they might find the real truth behind the Madoff scam, and it won't be pretty. This is no lone trader operation.

We may never hear the details behind this scam. It might shake our confidence in the system.

NY Post
Madoff Wall of Silence
By James Doran
February 16, 2009

Senior executives at some of Wall Street's biggest firms were convinced Bernard Madoff was a fraud as early as 2005 - yet none alerted authorities, documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission reveal.

Leon Gross, the former managing director in charge of worldwide equity derivatives research for Citigroup, told friends and colleagues on Wall Street in 2005 that he thought Madoff was being less than honest about the returns he could make for investors but did nothing to prevent the fraud.

Likewise, Joanne Hill, Goldman Sachs' global head of equity derivatives research, believed there was something wrong with Madoff's investment scheme because the returns he boasted in marketing materials seemed too good to be true.

Like Gross, Hill did not alert her superiors or regulatory authorities. She did, however, tell friends and colleagues about her suspicions.

Bud Haslett, of Write Capital Management, an investment firm, also suspected something fishy. But he told no one of his concerns.

The actions - or inaction - of the bankers is unveiled in a 700-plus-page dossier of e-mails, letters and analysis filed with the SEC by Harry Markopolos, the fraud investigator who tried to blow the whistle on Madoff for eight years.

The silence by the executives is disturbing to some, who claim a second alarm bell could have forced the SEC's hand and brought Madoff's alleged scam to an end sooner.

Markopolos told the SEC, according to the documents in the file, that he had been in contact with Gross, Hill and Haslett and that they would give evidence to the SEC so long as they were never required to speak in an official capacity.

Citigroup confirmed that Gross had been an employee but had left the bank some months ago. The company declined to comment about his views on Madoff.

A source close to Citi said Gross should not be singled out, as his views about Madoff were commonplace on Wall Street, adding that Gross did not spend much time analyzing Madoff's investment strategies.

Goldman Sachs did not return calls seeking comment. Write Capital Management, meanwhile, has not filed records with the SEC since 2006.