Fascinating conversation today over lunch today. It was held under Chatham House Rules, so I cannot reveal the identity of any of the parties or their firms.
However, the conversation steered towards the Madoff affair, and one fellow proffered the thinking behind why Madoff remains out on bail, and could be working towards a plea deal.
A guilty verdict is a slam dunk in a trial. However, that does nothing for the $43 billion in lost assets for the folks who were taken (i.e, investors/confidence marks). and, it seems that Madoff’s remaining assets, versus what was stolen/lost/embezzled are a mere pittance.
Hence, the possible Madoff deal. One theory floating around is that Madoff will implicate the major banks (HSBC, RBS, Santander, BNP Paribas, Nomura), fund of funds, referrers in his massive fraud. Once he rolls over and sings, alleging they knew (or should have known) it clears the path for a massive litigation frenzy against any and all of the parties involved.
I feel sad fort he people who lost money, but if this theory is remotely accurate, it would be terrible. It would allow a (alleged) horrific con man/thief avoid justice. And, it rewards the people for their own bad judgment in giving Mr. Mathematically-Impossible/No-Fees their money, while seeking to place the blame elsewhere.
Zero responsibility for all involved! Its the American way!
Credit Suisse Urged Clients to Dump Madoff Funds
Cynthia Cotts, Katherine Burton and Elena Logutenkova
Bloomberg, Jan. 7 2009
Signs Seen of Possible Plea Deal for Madoff
NYT, January 13, 2009, 7:32 am
Bank Safdie Dodges Madoff Loss, Predicts More Hedge Fund Rules
Bloomberg, Jan. 8 ( 2009