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Tuesday, 7 December 2010

The Magic Of Madoff

Ever since the news broke that Bernie had made off with his investors' money (did you see what I did there?), I've been waiting for the forensic accounts of what happened. Well here they are.

Because US courts tolerate relatively florid language in their pleading, these court filings do not disappoint in their sense of outrage. The case against HSBC is the juiciest, complete with a 'smoking gun' email from February 2006 (at para 20 of the Amended Complaint), largely redacted, in which certain unnamed officials reacted to almost a full alphabet of "red flags" (listed at para 18) with the immortal refrain:
"It's the magic of Madoff."
In summary, the trustee alleges that:
"21. Ultimately, as custodians and administrators, the HSBC Defendants oversaw the infusion of no less than $8.9 billion into [Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC (“BLMIS”)'s fraudulent investment advisory business] through a network of feeder funds. The HSBC Defendants funneled even more money into BLMIS in connection with derivative structured financial products that they issued and sold to their customers.

22. For their efforts, the Defendants received billions of dollars to which they are not entitled. Many of these Defendants received tens, if not hundreds, of millions of dollars by selling, marketing, lending to, and investing in financial instruments designed to substantially assist Madoff by pumping money into BLMIS and prolonging the Ponzi scheme."
Now I can't wait for the hearing - and the movie!

Image from The Memphis Flyer.
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