When ‘fund’ becomes a four letter word

The previous blog focused on how so many supposedly smart people and famous names from among the professional investment community could have been taken for a ride by Bernie Madoff’s scam. The inescapable conclusion was that they were guilty of either stupidity, or incompetence, probably mixed up with a good dash of either arrogance or laziness. These sterling qualities, rather […]

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Too good to be true, but not too bad to be true

It seems fair to say that the Madoff affair will come to be seen as a milestone in the development of three very different groups of people: a) the Jewish world in general and the American-Jewish community in particular; b) the money management profession, extending from private and other banks, through to hedge funds and other ‘vehicles’; c) people with money, whether a little (‘savers’), a lot (‘investors’), or a great deal (‘wealthy’).

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Beyond Money

“Help, oh Lord, for righteousness is at an end, for men of trust are extinct among people” Psalms, 12;2 Virtually nothing is clear about the Madoff affair. How he did it, to whom he did it, with whom he did it (the operation could not have been conducted single-handedly), how much money was involved, where did it come from, when […]

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Banking Blues

“My job is my bonus”. That’s how one employee at an (admittedly exceptionally hard-hit) global financial institution answered my question about this year’s bonuses at his firm. Someone else, at another (less battered) firm, mentioned in a matter-of-fact way that bonuses would be down 40-60% this year – and he expected the same next year. “Mind you”, he noted, “people’s […]

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