FOX Business’ Charlie Gasparino called Ponzi scheme architect Bernie Madoff’s story an “unbelievable tragedy” in an interview with “Your World” Wednesday, claiming the Nasdaq pioneer’s reputation played a large role in his successful multi-billion dollar swindle of major investors.
CHARLIE GASPARINO: It’s a mixed story and it’s an unbelievable tragedy. I covered Bernie Madoff before he was outed as running a multi-gazillion dollar Ponzi scheme when he was best known, essentially for, creating the Nasdaq stock market. And he helped me with my book on Dick Grasso who was the New York Stock Exchange chief and I guess a competitor of his. And then I covered him when this whole thing went down, I broke a lot of stories about the scam. And then when he was in prison, I actually spoke with him a couple of years into his prison term. One of the interesting things about Bernie Madoff is just how he elided through all the tragedy that he caused. When you interviewed him before prison, you know, you would have no idea that he was sitting on a powder keg of lies.
You start with a good name. Bernie Madoff was one of the founders of the Nasdaq. You start with that name and you develop a reputation. Even, when people started sensing there was something wrong with this fund that, you know, produced every year, eight percent returns no matter what. I mean, it kind of printed the same number every year. It wasn’t huge. It wasn’t 50 percent returns, but it was eight percent, never a loss. You say, well, this can’t be a lie. I mean, this is Bernie Madoff … He hoodwinked regulators, the SEC, which looked at him and backed off several times.
They [victims] don’t know much about investing … They were relying on brokers who basically were banking on Madoff not being the swindle because of what he was. His son-in-law worked at the SEC. I mean, if you thought about it … Could this guy really be lying to everybody? A lot of people thought he was engaging in insider trading. He was always so placid and calm. What I found fascinating about him when I interviewed him when he was out of jail and I did a bunch of stuff on FOXBusiness.com … is just how he was somewhat contemptible of his victims. And it was like he didn’t care. I mean, he had this sort of air about him that, oh you know, what happened, I’m sorry — They [victims] got some of their money back.