Securities regulators are grossly underequipped to police financial markets, hedge funds are a danger to the market, and criminals have been scamming investors since the beginning of time and are not going to stop anytime soon.
Those are just a few of the observations made by Bernie Madoff in a recent MarketWatch interview about whether the financial markets are fair and how retail investors can protect themselves from fraudsters like him. In the interview, he described decades of dodging scrutiny from toothless regulators and gullible customers and said retail investors are the least well-informed market participants.
After all those years of racing to remain a step ahead of the authorities, Madoff has a few ideas about how the market can be made more fair for retail investors. Among them: The Securities and Exchange Commission should be beefed up, hedge funds need to be registered and brokerages should have independent custodians.
Madoff, serving 150 years for orchestrating the biggest Ponzi scheme in history, bilked his clients of billions of dollars and fooled regulators for decades before he was caught, tried and sent to prison.
Since his conviction, Madoff has been in Butner Federal Correctional Complex, a medium-security prison in Butner, N.C. After five years behind bars, Madoff, in a meeting with MarketWatch, appeared friendly, relaxed and healthy, despite the prison’s clinical feel.
Hit the link below to access the complete MarketWatch interview with Bernie Madoff: