“He’s one of the pioneers of modern Wall Street,” said James Angel, an associate business professor at Georgetown University in Washington. Madoff’s firm was among the first to automate market-making, in which a dealer continually buys and sells stock. The company was among the largest to offer “payment for order flow,” or paying to handle customer orders.
Thomas Ajamie, a securities lawyer in Houston who won a $429 million arbitration award against Paine Webber Group in 2001, speculated that Madoff “couldn’t keep the Ponzi scheme going because investors were accelerating their redemptions.”
Bernard Madoff, founder and president of a New York firm that invested funds for wealthy individuals, hedge funds and other institutions, was charged with operating what he told employees was a long-running $50 billion Ponzi scheme in what may be one of the largest frauds in history.
“It’s all just one big lie,” Madoff told his employees on Dec. 10, according to the government. The firm, Madoff allegedly said to them, is “basically, a giant Ponzi scheme.”
Madoff started his firm in 1960 with $5,000 of savings and took advantage of securities-law changes in the 1970s designed to spur competition in U.S. stock markets, according to a profile posted on the Web site Finance Tech.
I've remixed this news source to show you the information in the order of its importance, more or less.
He was a pioneer who took advantage of a loophole; if not for the recession, he might have continued his Ponzi scheme; it's unclear how many of his "innovations" were also Ponzi schemes.
Stop and think: how many of our "heroes" got ahead by doing something corrupt, but bringing in enough money that they could hide it, and then go on to purchase legitimate businesses?
These people aren't heroes. They're parasites.