Madoff and Business School Ethics

According to an article by David Gelles and Gillian Tett in the Financial Times, Bernard Madoff says he might start advising business schools. About ethics:

We ask if there is anything else to his life in prison. Madoff looks blank. Eighty per cent of the other inmates are in for drug-related crimes, he says, adding that he is treated well and has a roommate he likes. “The staff is respectful of me,” he says. “I have a room with a wooden door. There are no bars on the windows.”

Several business schools have approached him, he adds, and asked him to work on ethics courses. He likes that idea; Harvard and Northwestern are in his sights.

Both Harvard and Northwestern said that no, this is not true. Madoff is incarcerated in a U.S. federal prison in Butner, North Carolina and will remain there for the rest of his life.

It would be sort of funny if the Kellogg School were actually calling Madoff to have him help with an ethics course. It’s not as if Madoff’s guilty of some minor ethical violation like selling a stock by learning in advance its value would drop.

Technically Madoff wasn’t a businessman at all; he just ran a gigantic scam for 50 years. The ethics of that sort of thing aren’t really a matter of debate.

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Daniel Luzer

Daniel Luzer is the news editor at Governing Magazine and former web editor of the Washington Monthly. Find him on Twitter: @Daniel_Luzer