Monday, 15 December 2008

Swimming naked when the tide goes out

Warren Buffet famously said, "It's not until the tide goes out that you can see who has been swimming naked."

The tide has well and truly gone out for Bernard Madoff who seems to have lost $50bn of his clients' money. It went out when he failed to find the $7bn he needed to meet redemption claims on his fund.

What's amazing is that he has been running investment funds since 1960, and the tide has gone out several times since then and he survived each time. It's not surprising then that his clients trusted him implicitly.

How does he feel today? Almost certainly relieved that the big lie is all over and it's all someone else's problem. He didn't bother denying his guilt to the FBI when they came knocking. He probably has a spring in his step he hasn't had for decades.

This just leaves us with the question: how many other hedge funds are swimming naked and can't make their redemptions?

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