Daily Archives: January 2, 2009

Off to Maine

Friday, 10:00 am. My son John’s band is playing in Portland tonight and so I’m off to lend support – every rock band needs an old hippie in his 50s to cheer them on. I expect to return Saturday night so if the Madoffs, Noels or Greenwich real estate have exploded by then, I’ll post it.

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Well this is a relief!

Thanks to a reader directing me there, I learn on the NYPost’s Page 6 that the Noels have managed to rent out their villa Mustique. The article goes on to say that the other richies on the island don’t much like the Noels – they put on airs, apparently – but I’m sure that’s not true. They are members of the Round Hill Club, after all, and have you ever encountered a snob there? I thought not.

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Not that there’s anything wrong with that

In researching the current whereabouts and activities of Greenwich’s most famous horse killer, George Lindemann,Jr. I discovered that he’s a $1,000  contributer to Project Yes, a program that seeks to prevent suicide among gay and lesbian kids. A laudable endeavor, and almost certainly irrelevant to the man’s demonstrated capacity to treat animals so cruelly, but it’s an interesting bit of personal data for those of us trying to figure out what makes the man tick.

Update: Maybe he’ll be returning to Connecticut soon. He opposed Florida’s amendment to ban gay marriage. If there’s a special someone in Georgie’s life, Greenwich’s Town Clerk stands ready to bless them both.

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What did Walter know and when did he know it?

Henry Bodget has a new posting on UB Bank’s letter to its investors “explaining” how they lost so much money with Bernie Madoff. The letter is quite interesting in itself but here are some salient points extracted by Blodget:

  • UBP says one of its Madoff funds got DAILY trade tickets from Madoff. If so, this meant that Madoff was constructing the fraud on a daily basis instead of a monthly basis, as some have assumed. This must have been time-consuming. It also almost ensures that others were involved. (Bernie Madoff did this himself every afternoon? Please.)
  • The SEC blessed Madoff’s strip-mall auditor, Friehling & Horowitz, year after year, despite David Friehling, the only non-retired CPA in the three-person shop, telling the CPA people each year he wasn’t conducting audits.
  • Like Thierry de La Villehuchet and other Madoff observers, UBP “was assured” that Madoff’s broker-dealer arm helped his minute-to-minute market-timing ability.  This makes it all the more notable that the largest Madoff feeder, Fairfield Greenwich, never mentioned this (in the documents that we have seen).  Was this because using material non-public market information to make money for clients sounds shady, and FGG didn’t want to sound shady–even though this was obviously a critical investment point for many Madoff investors?
  • Like Fairfield Greenwich, UBP notes that market timing played a key role in Madoff’s returns.And like Fairfield Greenwich, UBP offers no explanation of how Madoff was so adept at this timing when so few other managers are.

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Crime along the Merritt

Greenwich police report a string of burglaries along the “Merritt Corridor”.  The term refers to the preference of thieves for an easy on/ easy off commute. They come up the Hutch from the City and fan out along the Merritt’s exits to do their business, then jump back on the highway and tootle on home to familiar turf and fences (which are a different sort than the white pickets one we’re so fond of here in Greenwich). This phenomenon has been going on for years yet one resident is quoted in Greenwich Time as saying he’d never heard of the problem. Had he been my client, he would have. As a reader, now you have, too. Watch out for homes too close to Merritt exits and entrances. And keep a big dog.

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Was Madoff a symbol of our economy?

I don’t think I agree with this article, but interesting thoughts.

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Okay, if Spain’s too hot for the Noels, how about rainy old England?

Real estate bargains there, too. There’s still the matter of disposing of 175 Round Hill Road, but if they’ll call me I’m sure I can help.

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William Pitt is alive and well

I heard one thing, the principals say otherwise and they should know. So apologies if you were sizing up their offices – sounds like they’ll continue to be using them.

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