Friday, December 26, 2008

An Amazing Document On Madoff Said To Have Been Sent To SEC In 2005

What? There are enough sources on this one to report it. When I first saw it I assumed just an internet urban legend, but it seems legit enough (and yet still unbelievable as well) that I at least want to ention it so we can use it in class discussions. Wow!

An Amazing Document On Madoff Said To Have Been Sent To SEC In 2005 :: Business News :: Here Is The City News :: The Latest Business & Financial Markets News And Views:
"Here's a copy of a submission said to have been made in 2005 to US market regulator the Securities and Exchange Commission by money manager and investment investigator Harry Markopolos.
and later:
"As a result of this case, several careers on Wall Street and in Europe will be ruined. Therefore, I have not signed nor put my name on this report. I request that my name not be released to anyone other than the Branch Chief and Team Leader in the New York Region who are assigned to the case, without my express written permission. The fewer people who know who wrote this report the better. I am worried about the personal safety of myself and my family. Under no circumstances is this report or its contents to be shared with any other regulatory body without my express permission. This report has been written solely for the SEC's internal use.

As far as I know, none of the hedge fund, fund of funds (FOF's) mentioned in my report are engaged in a conspiracy to commit fraud. I believe they are naive men and women with a notable lack of derivatives expertise and possessing little or no quantitative finance ability.

There are 2 possible scenarios that involve fraud by Madoff Securities:

1. Scenario # 1 (Unlikely): I am submitting this case under Section 21A(e) of the 1934 Act in the event that the broker-dealer and ECN depicted is actually providing the stated returns to investors but is earning those returns by front-running customer order flow. Front-running qualifies as insider-trading since it relies upon material, non-public information that is acted upon for the benefit of one party to the detriment of another party....

2. Scenario # 2 (Highly likely) Madoff Securities is the world's largest Ponzi Scheme. In this case there is no SEC reward payment due the whistle-blower so basically I'm turning this case in because it's the right thing to do.""

It should be noted that even scenario #1 is illegal. Front running got many dealers in trouble over the years. It essentially is placing trades in advance of a large trade that you know is coming.

Lest we fall trap of going with a single made up story (hey it is the internet after-all), here are some more cites.

From Time.
"The WSJ describes them as "ranging from in-depth mathematical calculations that purported to show the Madoff investment strategy couldn't work, to little more than rumor or innuendo." That makes Markopolos sound like a little bit of a crank, but reading through his actual allegations doesn't leave that impression at all. Obviously hindsight plays a role here, but I can't imagine anyone reading them in 2005 and not concluding that there was something deeply suspect going on. Markopolos goes to great lengths to demonstrate that the investment returns claimed by Madoff were impossible to replicate by any known strategy. But to me that wasn't the biggest of his 29 red flags. The biggest red flag was Why on earth would a prominent brokerage firm chief run a giant, mostly secret money management business on the side and not charge any fees for his services if he wasn't up to something dodgy?"

"Markopolos waged a remarkable battle to uncover fraud at Madoff's operation, sounding the alarm back in 1999 and continuing with his warnings all through this decade. The government never acted, Madoff continued his ways, and people lost billions.

Markopolos reached his conclusion with the help of mathematicians like Dan diBartolomeo, whose analysis of the Madoff's methods in 1999 helped fuel Markopolos' suspicions.

"People should have seen the writing on the wall," diBartolomeo said.



Anonymous said...

Oy Vey!!!!!!!!!!!! Ithis story keeps getting worse…... this perfect Ponzi scheme of Madoff (Made-Off) continues to fascinate ….A true financial holocaust… He managed to lose or steal 50 billion dollars, which can't be easy to do no matter how hard you try…... and nobody else knew?????????????? .not the other 2 dozen employees who worked closely with him there?????? they must have been blinded by some sort of quantitative trading wizardry I smell rotten lox..I actually feel bad for Charles Ponzi ..Ponzi scammers will have to change their name to “Madoff schemers”.and Mr.Ponzi will disappear as a mere memory …..but in researching more about hedge funds I came across a few books that were also fascinating... Hedge Fund Trading Secrets Revealed by Robert Dorfman... and Confessions of a Street Addict by Jim Cramer....both these books take you on a great ride about hedge funds how they make and lose millions…… and expose many other scam practices in this game. Dorfman actually teaches his strategies. Great reads

Andy Kern said...

The best comment I have read so far went something like this: "I just feel bad for Charles Ponzi, that the scheme had to be named for him. What he did was nothing. In the future we should forever call it a 'Madoff Scheme'" Ha.