The Madoff Scandal

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A home owned by Bernard Madoff is shown Monday, Dec. 15, 2008 in Palm Beach, Fla. The 70-year-old Madoff, well respected in the investment community after serving as chairman of the Nasdaq Stock Market, was arrested Thursday in what prosecutors say was a $50 billion scheme to defraud investors. Some investors claim they've been wiped out, while others are still likely to come forward. (AP)
A home owned by Bernard Madoff in Palm Beach, Florida, on Monday, Dec. 15, 2008. (AP)

It's the stuff of children's rhymes: Bernie Madoff, made off with the money. It's the stuff of tragedy, for the families and charities ruined in the scam. It's the stuff of blind greed, and astounding oversight failures at the S.E.C.

A century ago, Chesterton said: “There are no wise few. Every aristocracy that has ever existed has behaved, in all essential points, exactly like a small mob.” Now, a not-so-small mob of investors is in big trouble. And the S.E.C — and American system — have a huge black eye. And it's still unfolding.

This hour, On Point: The apparent crime of the century, and what it means. The Madoff scandal.

You can join the conversation. Did you, or your rich uncle, lose a bundle with Madoff? Are you seeing the ripple-effect of the crime of the century? How could this happen?Guests:

Joining us from New York is Amir Efrati, staff reporter for The Wall Street Journal. He's one of the lead reporters on this unfolding story.

Also from New York, we're joined by Jesse Eisinger, a senior writer for Portfolio magazine covering finance and Wall Street.

And with us in our studio is Mitchell Zuckoff, professor of journalism at Boston University and author of "Ponzi's Scheme: The True Story of a Financial Legend."

This program aired on December 17, 2008.


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