Unethical Leader: Madoff

Topics: Bernard Madoff, U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, Ponzi scheme Pages: 4 (1168 words) Published: December 16, 2012
Bernard Madoff

Bernard Lawrence Madoff was on April 29, 1938, in New York City, he earned his bachelor's degree in political science from Hofstra; he started studying law at Brooklyn Law School, but quit later to begin his own investment firm. Using the $5,000 he earned from his summer jobs, Madoff and his wife founded Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities, LLC. As the business expanded Madoff's fame as a successful investor grew, Madoff’s Securities began using computer technology to develop stock quotes. The program that the firm tested and helped to develop became the National Association of Securities Dealers Automated Quotations, or famously as NASDAQ stock exchange which Madoff later served as president of the board of directors. But on the 10th of December 2008 Madoff became famous for a very different reason, after the investor informed his sons that he planned to give out several million dollars in bonuses two months earlier than scheduled, they demanded to know where the money was coming from. Madoff then admitted that a branch of his firm was actually an elaborate Ponzi scheme (we all must know what’s a Ponzi scheme) and that he had lost $50 billion of his investors' money Madoff's own sons reported their father to federal authorities, and the next day Madoff was arrested and charged with securities fraud. (He managed to raise good sons?). Madoff pled guilty to 11 felony counts—securities fraud, investment adviser fraud, mail fraud, wire fraud, three counts of money laundering, false statements, perjury, false filings with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), and theft from an employee benefit plan. Madoff was sentenced to 150 years in prison on 29th of June 2009.

So what went wrong?

Analyzing Madoff according to our lecture slides about unethical behaviours we tried to understand Madoff’s decisions:

A series of experiments conducted by psychologists at the University of California, Berkeley, suggests that...
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