1. Bernie Cornfield, mastermind of a gigantic mutual fund Ponzi scheme in the 1970s.
2. Bernie Ebbers, the WorldCom CEO who pocketed hundreds of millions for himself while faking profits and cooking the books.
3. Bernie Madoff, the newest inductee into the Hall of Bernie Fraudsters, who may prove the biggest swindler of them all.
Perhaps the Securities and Exchange Commission, looking for a way to make amends for sleeping while Bernie Number 3 reportedly plundered the charity funds, should pass a rule prohibiting anyone named Bernie from handling other people’s money.
It’s worth a try. What they’ve done so far doesn’t seem to have worked.