Saturday, January 17, 2009

Madoff didn't trade a single share

So where did the $50 billion go? And if he didn't lose the money trading, how much did Madoff pay out? And if he paid out the money, then where is it? And if he didn't pay out the money, where did it go? From the Telegraph:

The bizarre allegation – the latest in a series of twists and turns since the 70-year-old fund manager was arrested for an alleged $50bn (£34bn) fraud on December 11 – comes after the detailed examination of the trading records of Mr Madoff's broker-dealer, Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities (BLMIS).

Herb Perone, a spokesman for the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority( FINRA) said that its examinations "showed no evidence of trading on behalf of the investment adviser, no evidence of any customer statements being generated by the broker-dealer."

FINRA, which is Wall Street's self-funded financial regulator, and its predecessor the National Association of Securities Dealers, have routinely assessed the trading records of BLMIS every two years since the company's inception in 1960.

The revelation suggests that Mr Madoff was either using a third-party firm to process the trades for the fund – something which FINRA considers to be unlikely – or that he was not executing any trades at all.

The latter would add weight to the allegation that the fund was just one huge Ponzi scheme.Mr Madoff used to send out statements to investors, showing details of companies he had invested in on their behalf and the relevant prices.

However, one statement seen by Reuters is said to show an alleged investment in Fidelity's Spartan Fund, something which Fidelity, the world's largest fund manager, has said it has no record of.

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