When the greatest financial criminal in history calls collect, you listen. The result? A fascinating feature by New York Magazine writer Steve Fishman exploring Bernie Madoff’s brazen plan, subsequent panic and tumultuous downfall.
Perhaps most interesting is Madoff’s assertion that some of Wall Street’s most prestigious firms, including Goldman Sachs, Merrill Lynch and Morgan Stanley Smith Barney were never blind to the scheme he was orchestrating.
“Look,” he said, “these banks and these funds had to know there were problems.” Madoff told them absolutely nothing about how he made those returns. “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.”
Madoff continues, “It’s unbelievable. Goldman … no one has any criminal convictions—the whole new regulatory reform is a joke. The whole government is a Ponzi scheme.”
According to the latest numbers from CoreLogic, the national average of state mortgage holders who are underwater is 22.5%. Florida sits at an astonishing level above 60%.
Homeowners, however, are not powerless in today’s market. Join Oppenheim Law next Wednesday, March 9, for the next free Real Estate Workshop where Roy Oppenheim will share how rising oil prices, continued unemployment and the possibility of an American double-dip recession is impacting the South Florida real estate market.