14 April 2009
The Rise and Fall of Bernie L Madoff
With economy the way it is now, our investments are more important than ever. Most people invest their money in the stock market through their place of employment; others rely on word of mouth as to which investment firm is the smartest way to go. Do we really know whom to trust? Is “word of mouth” reliable? Bernie L Madoff, of Bernie L Madoff Investment Securities, LLC, succeeded in fooling the SEC (Securities & Exchange Commission) and gained the trust of hundreds of investors for so many years with a fraud known as the Ponzi scheme. Why did so many people trust his firm, how did he fool the SEC? What is a Ponzi scheme and how does it work so well that one man can swindle $60 billion dollars from so many people, including the likes of Steven Spielberg, Kevin Bacon, and many other famous, as well as powerful, people?
Bernard L. Madoff was born in New York City on April 29, 1938 (Hinton) to Ralph and Sylvia Madoff. He grew up in Laurelton, a close Jewish community. (Creswell and Thomas) ''It was an idyllic place to grow up in,'' recalls Vera Gitten, who attended elementary school with him. She remembers him as ''very thin,'' a good student and extremely outgoing.” (Creswell and Thomas) His college years began with one year at the University of Alabama and then graduating from Hofstra University in 1960 with a political science degree. He married Ruth Alpern, who attended Far Rockaway High school with Madoff. They have two sons, Mark and Andrew. In 1960, Bernie Madoff raised $5000 doing odd jobs and working as a lifeguard and used this money to start his firm Madoff Securities. (Hinton) His business grew and so did his name. The firm was located in the famous 17th floor of the “Lipstick Building” on Third Avenue in Midtown Manhattan.
Doug Steiner, a Bay Street (Canada) insider, spoke of Bernie Madoff as someone he wanted to...