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What can we learn from the Bernard Madoff affair?

As Bernard Madoff sits in a US jail facing a sentence which is expected to be in the region of 150 years it is highly unlikely he will ever feel freedom again. However, as the dust starts to settle on the court case which has thankfully been short and sweet many questions are now being asked about the role of the regulators in the US. The SEC has come in for intense criticism with suggestions that Bernard Madoff's investment company had been investigated on a number of occasions in the past.

From an investor's point of view the fact that Bernard Madoff was effectively guaranteeing investment returns which were way above anything else on the market, should have begun to sound alarm bells very early on. However, a mixture of blind faith and greed appears to have taken over and many investors from professional backgrounds such as lawyers and fund managers have lost substantial amounts of money. While it is alarming that the US authorities had not picked up on the situation sooner, there is a need for US regulators to protect investors from themselves.

The returns created by Bernard Madoff over the years were really too good to be true and while many sat back counting their substantial income and increases in capital they were only pawns in a larger game which everybody lost in the end.

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