At a conference this week in Prague, Michael Clarke, director of the London-based Royal United Services Institute for Defense and Security Studies, compared the damages caused to the global financial system by disgraced financier Bernard L. Madoff to the September 11 terrorist attacks.
The conference, "NATO Enlargement 10 Years On,"
brought together NATO leaders, military officers, government officials, diplomats, and academics:
"It is one of the great ironies of counterterrorism since 2001 that we immediately rushed to shore up our financial markets from attack from the outside," Clarke told the gathering.
"We were worried about terrorists bringing down and hurting our financial system from the outside. And just look at the harm we've been able to do to ourselves from the inside.
"Madoff has caused losses of somewhere around $50 to $100 billion. He is already twice as effective as Osama bin Laden. The 9-11 attacks -- at the very best, or worst -- cost the world $50 billion dollars. Madoff has done twice that damage already."
-- Ron Synovitz