The recent rash of insider trading cases may be a shock to some on Wall Street, but not to one long-time market player: Bernie Madoff.
In a Christmas Eve letter from the medium security federal prison in North Carolina where he is serving a 150-year sentence for running a massive Ponzi scheme, Madoff tells CNBC that insider trading has been around "forever."
He also rails against what he calls a lack of transparency in the financial markets, and says the growth of hedge funds is forcing market players to take outsized risks in order to earn decent returns.
Madoff has granted only a handful of interviews since he went to prison in 2009. More recently, he has declined to speak on the record about his case. But he was willing to share some views about the financial markets in the e-mail, which he sent to CNBC and a handful of attorneys and academics he has been communicating with.....