Although it’s been almost a decade since Bernie Madoff was arrested for running one of the biggest Ponzi schemes in American history, financial experts, federal regulators and Madoff’s victims are still reeling from the impact of the con. Investigative reporter Steve Fishman is equally engrossed with the story, and has spent years tracking the fallout from Madoff’s con—and delving in to how Madoff got away with it for so long in the first place.

Fishman sits down with Al Letson from The Center for Investigative Reporting to discuss what he’s learned about the $60 billion con, explaining that while Madoff may have been the mastermind behind it all, Wall Street banks “weaponized” him.

“There’s no con man more talented than Bernie,” Fishman says. “At the same time, Bernie could not have done this without the implicit cooperation of a number of institutions and investors.”

Although Madoff is now behind bars, no one else on Wall Street faced the same repercussions.

“Once you get to the institutions that essentially took what was a local swindler—I’m talking about Bernie Madoff—and weaponized him, and brought him around the world and made him the biggest Ponzi scheme in history,” Fishman says, “I’m talking about the financial institutions, the hedge funds, the banks—none of those people are held accountable, no one from those institutions has put on handcuffs.”

Listen to the full interview in the podcast above.

–Posted by Emma Niles.

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