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March 12th, 2009
09:52 PM ET

Live Blog from the Anchor Desk 03/12/09

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Tonight on AC360°, Madoff’s confession. Today the former Nasdaq chairman and Wall Street fat cat pleaded guilty to defrauding thousands of investors out of 65 billion dollars. He said he knew what he did was wrong and fully expected this day to come. Tonight he’s in jail, awaiting his June sentencing. He faces up to 150 years. Considering he’s 70 years old, he’ll likely die in prison. But confessing to the massive Ponzi scheme won’t bring his victims’ money back. We’ll be digging deeper into the story tonight. We’d love to hear your thoughts on Bernie Madoff. We want to keep the live blog on this one topic. So, please share your thoughts on Madoff’s guilty plea below.

And, don't miss Randi Kaye's webcast on Madoff during the commercials. Watch our WEBCAST

Want to know what else we're covering tonight? Read EVENING BUZZ

Keep in mind, you have a better chance of having your comment get past our moderators if you follow our rules.

Here are some of them:

1) Keep it short (we don't have time to read a "book")

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And take a look at our live web camera from the 360° studio. Watch the WEBCAM


Filed under: Live Blog • T1
soundoff (333 Responses)
  1. Annie Kate

    SEC fell down on the job in a major way. They should be fined at the very least. The money – you take one person's money to give another person his "earnings". So it just gets handed from one person to another until its gone....and I'm sure Madoff took good portions of it as well.

    March 12, 2009 at 10:17 pm |
  2. Sue

    Madoff said he is "sorry" for what he did. Is that why he bought the mansions and New York apartment? He doesn't deserve to ever see the light of day again. He absolutely destroyed some people's lives.

    March 12, 2009 at 10:16 pm |
  3. Dominic

    Why is the SEC not in with Madoff, they should be held accountable , the rating agencies seem to get away with murder.

    March 12, 2009 at 10:16 pm |
  4. Jack, Long Island, NY

    We will never stop "domestic violence" until we call it what it really is: "assault and battery"! Change the name of the crime as the first step!

    March 12, 2009 at 10:16 pm |
  5. niwat, Chicago, IL

    Hi AC, AC360 casts and bloggers,

    Madoff now faces the sentence what most people think he deserved. How could his company become so creditial adequate to acquire assets nearly 60 billion dollars with returns that raise higher than the Dow Jones Average even during the recession in early 1990? it sounds fishy. Let that be lesson learnt if it sounds good to be true, it probably is.

    March 12, 2009 at 10:16 pm |
  6. Greg, Austin Tx

    I' still can't understand where the Madoff billions went if he didn't spend it all. It's not easy to spend 65 billion dollars. Unless you're congress.

    March 12, 2009 at 10:15 pm |
  7. Greg Kerwin

    Madoff is a genius sorry its just my opinion i understand people were hurt but cmon billions I think he needs to work with obama

    March 12, 2009 at 10:15 pm |
  8. Mike Syracuse, NY

    David Gergen, the stock market is an anomoly. Until Geitner comes up with some real details to his plan we won't turn the corner.

    March 12, 2009 at 10:15 pm |
  9. maria

    I have a big ? If the guy was like he said, makingdeposits in just one bank, why 'the bank thereinvestigate, how can a person can just deposit millions of dlls an a bank keep quiet?, the banks suppose to be saying something after Sep 11, and they didn't?

    March 12, 2009 at 10:15 pm |
  10. marva

    madoff? greed. he "made off" with a lot of people's money. again, greed. the more he stole, the more he was secure in himself that he was not going to be caught. i suppose, with the stock market taking a huge collaspe, was one of the good things that came out of this mess. or, we probably would have never known about his major theft. the SEC should be sanctioned. and; regulated.

    March 12, 2009 at 10:15 pm |
  11. kristen

    Good Evening Everyone!

    Madoff – so he’s going to jail, likely for life. Good. He’s hurt so many, emptied their bank accounts. But now we the tax payers will have to foot the approx $40,000 a year it costs to keep someone in jail Sigh…I hope at least they don't give him his own cell.

    March 12, 2009 at 10:15 pm |
  12. Fay

    If he does a Kenneth Lay and die before he is sentenced in June, will his conviction be vacated, and can the gov't still go after his assets.

    March 12, 2009 at 10:15 pm |
  13. Ron

    Don't these firms require an audit by an outside accountant confirming the annual report is presented fairly and is correct?

    If so where were the outside accountants in this process?

    If so, do they bear any liability?

    March 12, 2009 at 10:15 pm |
  14. Kronda

    That cell looks pretty luxurious for prison.

    March 12, 2009 at 10:14 pm |
  15. Isabel, Brazil

    @ Megan

    I do not know if I understood correctly, but it seemed to me that people were having difficulty in proving how and how much they were stolen.

    March 12, 2009 at 10:14 pm |
  16. Mike, Zephyrhills, FL

    we also forget many people received their Profits!! manyof which I bet never stayed here in America and have tax shelters, Are we going to look at those people or just those who paid taxes??

    March 12, 2009 at 10:14 pm |
  17. vanessa from silver spring, MD

    @Randi Kaye- Where was the SEC. This is not what FDR had in mind when he created the SEC during the great depression.

    March 12, 2009 at 10:14 pm |
  18. Renee

    Welcome Randi! Always good to see you. This Road to Rescue program is being advertised down South. Is 360 on the road?

    March 12, 2009 at 10:14 pm |
  19. Maren in Oregon

    I makes me angry that the peoplein the SEC can't be prosecuted for being – at best – bumbling, incompetent idiots and, at worst, virtual co-conspirators with their former president and collegue.

    March 12, 2009 at 10:14 pm |
  20. EJ (USA)

    How did that other judge even allow Madoff to stay in his penthouse until now? That's unbelievable to me. Did he/she not realize the extent of what Madoff had done?

    March 12, 2009 at 10:14 pm |
  21. Sabrina

    Gergen- I'm glad you have faith in these banks because I don't. Not until someone at the top of these banks pay for running these banks into the ground. Also not until we know of all the bad assets on their books and how they will be addressed.

    March 12, 2009 at 10:14 pm |
  22. Mike Syracuse, NY

    Randi Kaye, the SEC is a prime example of why we shouldn't let the government 'take care of us'. I certainly don't want this bunch of idiots in charge of my health care, or anything else.

    March 12, 2009 at 10:14 pm |
  23. Dorothy

    ....there are so many "Madoffs" out there....i wonder who's gonna be next....only if these people believe they will never go unpunished!!!

    March 12, 2009 at 10:14 pm |
  24. Kristen - University Park, PA

    Sabrina you are right, all those crooked CEO's and executives need to be right along with Madoff.

    I have a question...where did all the $65 billion go? It has to be somewhere right?

    March 12, 2009 at 10:13 pm |
  25. Josh

    No way he pleaded guilty to all charges for nothing, there is more to this than we know. I suspect the Mrs., the son and other were in on it an he is protecting family and money.

    March 12, 2009 at 10:13 pm |
  26. Bridget, TX

    Everyone with the SEC should be called on the carpet. But, why didn't any of the Wall Street genuises and great economists we're hearing from now know what was going on for 20 yrs?

    March 12, 2009 at 10:13 pm |
  27. sujal

    I that the SEC should take a lot heat for the Madoff scandal, They screwed it up for many people looking to retire,

    March 12, 2009 at 10:13 pm |
  28. Ken in NC

    Pardon me Anderson. I ment that "I hope they leave enough empty cells in that prison for many of the Big Bank CEO’s and Wall Street people".

    March 12, 2009 at 10:13 pm |
  29. Megan Dresslar - Shoreline, WA

    Hi Randi!!!
    Did you put AC name???? LOL!

    March 12, 2009 at 10:13 pm |
  30. Cindy

    @ Randi..I think Madoff had someone in his pocket at the SEC that's why he wasn't caught before now.

    Cindy..Ga.

    March 12, 2009 at 10:12 pm |
  31. Mike, Zephyrhills, FL

    Bernie knows a lot, He knows about peoples accounts, offshore, Israel accounts, Swiss, and others who hold positions in things if known would not be well received for those now complaining.

    March 12, 2009 at 10:12 pm |
  32. Renee

    The best statement was from one of the victims. She wanted Bernie to go on trial to try to get more information etc.

    She said, " If we go to trial, we will show our people in this struggling country and the world, who looks to us as the global moral leader, that we hold ALL people accountable."

    I thought a trial would have been brillant! Costly but brillant.

    March 12, 2009 at 10:12 pm |
  33. Jacqueline, NY

    The money is with the family, which is why he is claiming they are not involved. He couldn't possibly be remorseful for hiding his victims' money and not give it back to them.

    March 12, 2009 at 10:12 pm |
  34. Ken in NC

    I hope they leave enough in that prison for many of the Big Bank CEO's and Wall Street people.

    March 12, 2009 at 10:12 pm |
  35. Esma

    @ David Gergen-I was shocked and happy to see the stocks head up...I guess the banks started drinking the Starbucks stocks. I hope things start to improve from here, even if it's little by little.

    March 12, 2009 at 10:11 pm |
  36. Chris Sosa - Boston, MA

    @David – It would be nice if we were near to seeing the bottom, that's for sure! On the rest of the conspirators, who knows? I'm sure the whole story is an incredibly messy one. Does anyone really want to touch the SEC?

    March 12, 2009 at 10:11 pm |
  37. David, Indiana

    Megan, I saw much of the live coverage this morning. Intvws w/ people who lost money, and reports from the courthouse, discussion and analysis. It was all incredibly thorough, excellent coverage. I'm agreeing w Ali Velshi, there's a lot more investigating to do. Hopefully they can recover some of the investor's money. Also, Jeffery Toobin makes an important pt, Madoff's ponzi scheme went on for 20 years, so maybe he can make restitution.

    March 12, 2009 at 10:11 pm |
  38. Lori from IL

    Good evening all -

    Glad Madoff's behind bars - should have been there a long time ago.

    March 12, 2009 at 10:11 pm |
  39. vanessa from silver spring, MD

    @David G. Hey David. I hope that we are starting to see the bottom so we can start towards recovery.

    March 12, 2009 at 10:11 pm |
  40. Rikki, Fargo, ND

    Mr. Gergen! Hope you are well! I really hope that we've hit the bottom and now we are going to start working our way back to being the America we all know and love!

    March 12, 2009 at 10:11 pm |
  41. Glen Up North

    So we keep the subject on Bernie Madoff? Life without parole, combined with community service giving seminars on how to handle investments wisely and how to spot a scam. Does that sound doable?

    March 12, 2009 at 10:11 pm |
  42. Heather - Spokane, WA

    I liked the SEC quote they made to the overseers, 'Cant find your backside with both hands with the lights on.' Priceless

    March 12, 2009 at 10:11 pm |
  43. Liz

    Hi Anderson 🙂 Although it may be little consolation for Madoff's victims, I'm glad he's being held accountable. If nothing else, perhaps this will discourage others who think they can get away with this kind of crime.

    March 12, 2009 at 10:10 pm |
  44. Cindy

    @ Gerg..I hope that we are seeing the bottom!! I won't hold my breath though.

    Cindy..Ga.

    March 12, 2009 at 10:10 pm |
  45. Minou, New York City

    I want to see SEC heads roll..

    March 12, 2009 at 10:10 pm |
  46. anderson cooper

    hi everyone.. Randi Kaye here.. good to have you all with us tonight..
    i covered Madoff today.. and there are so many unanswered questions as my story said for tonight's show. amazing that some who took "profits" could have to give their money back. since it was really false profits.. and one thing we couldn't get into in my story becasue of time but where the heck was the Securities and Exchange commission? It was warned about Madoff nearly a decade ago and did nothing.. people lost their life savings!! what is up with the SEC??
    i'd love to know your thoughts about Madoff and his plea. Join the conversation.. i'm here all night!

    March 12, 2009 at 10:10 pm |
  47. EJ (USA)

    Ackerman? I wish he could represent my district. He's great.

    March 12, 2009 at 10:10 pm |
  48. Sabrina

    Madoff should not be the only crook hauled off to jail. Some of these CEO's should be hauled off to jail as well. I do not see how Wall Street recovers fully without putting the major perpetrators in prison. Thanks Anderson for bringing up the accountability of the federal regulators.

    March 12, 2009 at 10:09 pm |
  49. Ken in NC

    Good evening Anderson, Erica, Randi, David G. and all Bloggers. Lots going on tonight with Madoff now in jail where he should have been all along. I hope he does not think that all of America is so stupid that we would believe he pulled off such a massive Ponzi Scheme all by himself. He had to have had help from trusted people and no one is more trusted than family.

    I think he is falling on the sword to protect his wife, sons and possibly other family members.

    March 12, 2009 at 10:09 pm |
  50. Cindy

    There is no way his family should be able to keep their money. You know they all were in on the scam.

    Cindy..Ga.

    March 12, 2009 at 10:09 pm |
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