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Kass: Madoff Mess Is Widespread

This blog post originally appeared on RealMoney Silver on Dec. 15 at 8:03 a.m. EST.

Life at its best is bittersweet.

I have had a good year investing. Some of my oldest friends are also my Limited Partners. My performance in 2008 is a sense of personal achievement for me. Through hard work, a skeptical and independent view and by virtue of hard-hitting analysis, I have made money for my investors in a challenging period.

Meanwhile, many of my other friends have been caught up in the alleged Madoff fraud -- many others.

As I related on Friday, if accurately reported, the Madoff Ponzi scheme is the biggest fraud of all time, bigger than Bayou and Enron combined.

In that column, I detailed my experience of analyzing a Madoff account in 2005, the process of which made me an early nonbeliever because the numbers simply did not add up. I also enumerated six red flags that should have been picked up by investors (and their agents), many of whom put their entire investment capital with Madoff.

How does an alleged multibillion-dollar 'Ponzi scheme' by market maker and money manager Bernie Madoff affect your confidence in the stock market?

Has no effect.
Makes me more nervous than I already was.
Not as bad as past scandals I've seen.
I've never trusted Wall Street, and I never will.

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