The problem with a Ponzi scheme, as we’ll learn in part 2 of ABC’s MADOFF mini-series tonight, is that it actually works just fine….until everyone starts withdrawing their money.
Bernie Madoff’s fall came as a result of the recent financial crisis, but not because he lost money in the stock market. As we saw from the first part of the mini-series, Bernie wasn’t actually investing any of his clients’ money in the stock market at all. But his entire scheme was predicated on more money coming in than going out. When the housing market crash began and the market started going crazy, Bernie’s clients began pulling their money from his fund. And this is where the three-time NASDAQ Chair’s house of cards came tumbling down.
Without being able to attract more money into the fund to cover all of the money going out, Bernie quickly spirals out of control in tonight’s episode. His sons and brother are becoming ever more suspicious about his erratic behavior as he realizes he can’t stop the bleeding of his fund and his illegal activities will inevitably be discovered. But we don’t end at Bernie’s downfall in tonight’s episode. In fact, that’s only half of the remaining story left to be told. We’re going to see his arrest, watch him go to prison and see how his family was affected by his lies. It’s ultimately a tragic tale for the Madoff family as a whole, built on the back of the ultimate con man.
Don’t miss the two-hour conclusion of MADOFF tonight beginning at 8:00 p.m. ET/PT on ABC.