Most of us know the story of Madoff. And for those who don’t, fid time and read about him. He was quite an interesting fellow. I liked him. Or rather I liked his character. From the first moment I came across his story on Netflix, I knew I would be glued to the very end.
Honestly, I know very little concerning tech and its impact on the business markets. I also know the bare minimum on issues finance, hedge funds and stock exchange markets. However, Madoff’s story made me pay attention.
When I said I liked his character, it sounds odd. It’s a bit weird to like somebody who stole from innocent people and ran a 20 year long Ponzi scheme. But what stood out to me with him is his long wait to be caught. He knew it would come eventually and I get a sense that he even took pleasure in knowing one day I would come to an end. And the truth would come out.
Madoff, on the Netflix documentary is described as a man who simply wanted to please people. At least that’s what it was in the beginning before greed kicked in. I remember a part that mentioned a time earlier in his career when he had experienced a great loss but feared telling his investors the truth. He therefore lied his way out of it to make them happy and his reputation begun to grow.
At a certain time in his life, he was probably the best in the market. He mastered what he did and he ensured good results for his clients. He was the go to guy.
Putting all that aside, his story brings a lot of questions in terms of loyalty and integrity. Once his sons joined him at the lipstick building, it didn’t take them too long to put everything together. They were fearful of what the information they had meant for them and I’m sure they battled with whether to run to the FBI with what they knew or just be quiet and be in their father’s corner.
On an interview, one of the sons describes how stranded they felt and the uncertainty they had about getting an attorney. However, to the best of my knowledge, it is these very sons who went to the authorities to report their father who was charged with 150 years behind bars.
I keep thinking about what I would have done if I was placed in their situation and what comes first. Especially in family. Is it our loyalty to our family members or is it our personal integrity.
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