Blogging from the Highlands of Scotland
'From fanaticism to barbarism is only one step' - Diderot

Monday, 15 December 2008

USD50bn hedge fund fraud - the clue is possibly in the name

Yes, Bernard Mad[e]off (sic) seems to have made off [geddit?], or lost, or mislaid, a great deal of other people's money through what is now being described by the man himself, according to comments he is reported, in the US Attorney's criminal complaint filed in court, to have made to three employees during last week describing it as a giant Ponzi scheme.

It almost makes one wish for the halcyon days when it seemed that Enron was a one-off exceptional case. It now seems clear that financial regulation in the US, seemingly so detailed and exhaustive, specially after the improvements supposedly put in place in the wake of the flaws revealed by the Enron scandal of 6 or 7 years ago, is still in practice worth very little.

What fresh blows to confidence will be revealed in coming months? I'm afraid even to contemplate what might be in store - almost certainly it is not good. Just one more sign that the 8-year Presidency of George W Bush will not be remembered by historians as one of the more glorious phases of US or western capitalist history.

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