Bernie Madoff: an Issue of Ethics

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Bernie Madoff: An Issue of Ethics
There are many ethical issues in the world’s news today, some bigger than others, and many that get swept under the rug. One particular ethical issue is at the core of a huge story that has dominated the news for months on end and has lead to more trying times on Wall Street. The story is about Bernie Madoff and the massive effect he and his ponzi scheme had on hundreds of people who trusted him. This paper will discuss the ethical issue underlying the conflict, the damage that resulted from it, and the leadership that acted to counter suit his disaster. Bernie Madoff’s ponzi scheme is sure to go down in history as one of the largest business scandals ever and should make every person stop and make sure there ethics are in check. Bernie Madoff exploited ethical theories much like a hawk swooping down to kill its prey. Bernie’s twisting of moral philosophy, virtue ethics, universalism and business ethics controlled both common and upper classes within predominately Jewish investors, prominent social groups, banks, successful foundations and charities. He wielded his genius in investments and securities tantalizing those who could not spot his cabal. Bernie’s acute cognizance of small investors and the ruling classe’s desire to believe in moral philosophic principles, rules, and values let to the contamination of right and wrong with financial deals earning him 50-65 billion dollars. Bernie literally earned the title of greatest Ponzi schemer in the history of the world. The Bernie Madoff Investment Securities LLC outwardly demonstrated unmatched moral character, and virtuous ethical values, while secretly providing a moral minimum to unsuspecting victims. When clients wanted to cash in their investments, Bernie would simply pay them off from the money he swindled; forcing him to replenish his accounts with new investors. Bernie was perfectly aware that the values society needs to function could be used to provide Bernie a smoke screen appearance of possessing moral bearing. He disguised his innate lack of universalism to all including the Elite Weisel Foundation for Humanity, Santander Bank of Spain, HSBC Bank, Hedge Funds Man-Group and Clermont. Bernie’s business ethics and moral behavior always projected high business standards and principles, and even his need to scheme his family appeared innocent. Bernie’s two sons discovered his devious plans and turned him into the authorities. Ultimately his extreme egotism fed his behavior and would ultimately lead to his demise.

Organizational leadership is a critical function of any business and generally plays a significant role in the success or failure of any given company. In the Bernie Madoff case, facts compiled throughout the Ponzi scheme investigation revealed that for over 20 years Bernie Madoff’s company was responsible for laundering money, committing mail fraud, and filing false SEC reports. These were the criminal activities that ultimately amounted to over 50 billion dollars in fraud committed against clients and charity organizations.

The company had two primary areas of focus. One are was performing the functions of a stockbroker (broker) and market maker in U.S. shares and was where most of the company’s staff worked. This fund management area of the organization was the primary function of legitimacy for the firm and opened the door for trusting investors to continue business investments with Bernie Madoff. The second section of the company, the investment advisory department, was the primary area of the 2008 FBI investigation. It was in this area of the company that Bernie Madoff allegedly worked alone and advised many multi-millionaires of ways to invest their money. The FBI investigation showed that Madoff was providing returns in the 15 to 20 percent range, which is unheard of in the industry especially in a recession centric economy. It is difficult to comprehend how auditors, Madoff’s business partners,...
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