Globe Editorial

Madoff and Khadafy: The duo that wasn't

Bernie Madoff was rebuffed by Bernie Madoff was rebuffed by
April 4, 2011

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History is filled with missed connections — pairs of contemporaries who might have come together but never did. One of the more intriguing near-misses involved Ponzi schemer Bernie Madoff, who, according to a 2010 State Department cable released by WikiLeaks, made a business proposition to Moammar Khadafy and his sons. When the Khadafys rebuffed Madoff, the world was denied an epic face-off between two big-time thieves.

Even from as far away as Manhattan, Madoff could smell the oil money pouring into Libya’s coffers. He offered an “investment opportunity’’ to the $70 billion sovereign wealth fund run by Khadafy’s son Seif. But Madoff’s guaranteed rate of return may have looked like small potatoes to the Khadafys. For whatever reason, they didn’t bite.

That’s too bad. Had the colonel and the con man joined up, they might have put each other out of business before history caught up with them.