The world is still stunned by the brazen scam run by Bernie Madoff. Although there’s some gallows humour about the debacle–mostly along the lines of “Bernie Made Off with my money”–there’s also a lot of fear about how damaging this scandal could be.
The Wall Street Journal describes the world wide impact of Madoff’s alleged fraud:
Christopher Miller, chief executive of London hedge fund ratings agency Allenbridge Hedgeinfo, said: “Some very big investor names are involved in this. The scheme could only work if enough investors were subscribing for him to pay money out. Some of the world’s biggest hedge funds have been hit by this. There will be a monumental impact for the hedge fund industry, it could be larger then Enron.
“Some investors in Madoff’s funds face 100% write-downs on the money they invested, they will suddenly be nursing full write-downs in December. When people realise the magnitude of this it will be fizzing around the stratosphere.”
One asset manager based in Switzerland, home to many high-net-worth individuals who invest in funds of hedge funds, said: “Everyone’s talking about this in Geneva. Several wealthy investors could be facing big losses.”