A $50 bn scam (Bernard Madoff's Ponzi scheme)
A $913 m scan (the SEC budget for 2009)
A $138 bn scandal (see "How the Fed Reached Out to Lehman" NYT 20081215)
It looks a little bit like computers and the race against hackers : the more open the networks, the more likely bad guys will outsmart the system, and anything can happen.
Well. Not quite right.
Entering NYC's financial market ain't that easy. Plus everybody knows everybody... Actually, thieves pal around with cops all the time. Furthermore, post-9/11 America is not post-Hoxha Albania, where no-one knew anything about capitalism and Ponzi schemes could flourish as quickly as culprits could vanish.
Madoff didn't vanish.
The man is smart enough to know he was bound to crash, and the more he postponed his escape, the bigger the final ka-boom. Come on. Even Woody Allen would take the money and run.
But Bernie kept parading in lavish mansions. Bernie kept deceivingly spreading the wealth around. Bernie kept smiling his best dummy smile.
Because somehow, Bernie kept existing.
Bernard Madoff fell because his Second Life Avatar Bernie didn't follow The Woody Law.
Morale of the story : when dummies outdumb dummies, anything can happen.
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