Feature

Business columns: The Madoff scandal was not a fluke

The &ldquo;gospel of radical financial deregulation&rdquo; of the past two decades made the world safe for Bernard Madoff and the other financial crooks who wrecked our economy, said Robert Scheer in the<strong> </strong>&lt

Robert Scheer
San Francisco Chronicle

Bernard Madoff is often portrayed as “a uniquely venal blight on an otherwise responsible financial industry,” said Robert Scheer. But Madoff, sentenced last week to 150 years in prison for running a $65 billion Ponzi scheme, is “not some sort of weird outsider who flipped out.”

Before his fall, he helped develop electronic trading and the Nasdaq exchange, and helped write the regulations that he gleefully subverted for decades. In 1999, when the Securities and Exchange Commission was first hearing warnings that there was something rotten about Madoff’s money-management firm, he was consulting with then-SEC Chairman Arthur Levitt “on regulatory matters.” The “gospel of radical financial deregulation” of the past two decades—embraced by both Bill Clinton and George W. Bush—made the world safe for Madoff and the other financial crooks who wrecked our economy.

Until Congress and Wall Street admit that Madoff, far from being a “lone rotten apple,” is a creature of a discredited ideology, we’ll never get the fundamental financial reform we need.

Recommended

Group of 7 pledges almost $20B in aid for Ukraine
G7 officials discuss Ukraine aid package.
cash infusion

Group of 7 pledges almost $20B in aid for Ukraine

Biden's trip to Asia, explained
President Biden.
Briefing

Biden's trip to Asia, explained

Monkeypox comes to America
A monkeypox warning.
Briefing

Monkeypox comes to America

The global movement to give nature 'rights'
Scales.
Briefing

The global movement to give nature 'rights'

Most Popular

College student who delivered baby before graduation surprised at hospital
Jada Sayles receives her diploma.
major milestones

College student who delivered baby before graduation surprised at hospital

Russian state TV military analyst backpedals criticism of Ukraine invasion
Mikhail Khodarenok
'the colonel has been reined back in'

Russian state TV military analyst backpedals criticism of Ukraine invasion

Bush mistakenly condemns 'brutal invasion of Iraq'
George W. Bush
bushisms

Bush mistakenly condemns 'brutal invasion of Iraq'