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Madoff Performance Was 'Odd': Wedbush Morgan CEO

CNBC.com
Thursday, 18 Dec 2008 | 2:55 PM ET

A man who knew Bernie Madoff professionally for 40 years was skeptical of Madoff’s “extraordinary” performance, he told CNBC in an exclusive interview.

“Being a wholesale market-maker, it was unusual to find a person like that in the management of people’s funds,” said Ed Wedbush, president & CEO of Wedbush Morgan, a firm which regularly provides the most liquidity on the Nasdaq. “My inner reaction was just that that was a little bit strange and odd.”

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Despite Wedbush’s skepticism, he said Madoff’s firm did a “good job of making markets and providing executions to client orders for other brokerage firms like ourselves.”

Madoff was “straight” and “very upfront,” he said. See accompanying video for the full interview.

Markets would have done better this week if investors weren’t trying to cover their losses from the Madoff scheme, said Wedbush.

“I just can’t hardly believe that we in the business world today could conduct a business and not have some audit detection at the financial level,” he said.

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