The best reporting on this subject is not in the mainstream press but in a music magazine, Rolling Stone, where Matt Taibbi investigates why the whole of Wall Street is not in jail: "Financial crooks brought down the world’s economy - but the feds are doing more to protect them than to prosecute them," he charges.
Madoff also believes the banks who serviced him did not want to know about his Ponzi scheme which, unfortunately, is probably true - and an attitude coming not just from the banks.
The Times report added: "He spoke with great intensity and fluency about his dealings with various banks and hedge funds, pointing to their 'willful blindness' and their failure to examine discrepancies between his regulatory filings and other information available to them.
"'They had to know,' Mr Madoff said. 'But the attitude was sort of: "If you’re doing something wrong, we don’t want to know."'"
Yves Smith of NakedCapitalism.com quips: "This sounds credible - but it also seems more than a tad self-serving."
Andrew Leonard asks in Salon: "Should we trust him? After all, if there is one thing we know about Bernie Madoff, it is that he is one hell of a liar. But as evidence emerges that bank executives were exchanging emails wondering about Madoff’s amazing investment record, the possibility that the banks were purposefully looking the other way is not inconceivable."
The truth is that many of us still do not really want to know - because, if we did, we would have to do something about it.