Walter Noel and 60 Minutes

I missed last night’s  show on Madoff (in fact, I don’t watch the show, but would have had I known Walt was going to be on) but a reader sends this link to Walter’s letter to CBS.

As far as I can see, Fairfield Greenwich Group’s defense is that they received phony trade confirmations and their clients got their money back when they asked for it – until they didn’t. Doesn’t help their case that Bernie in fact made no trades whatsoever during the years, so “monitoring” wasn’t very deep and the investigation of Madoff Securities was non-existent despite what FGG promised in their promotional materials.

The Fairfield Greenwich Group and its employees are victims of the Madoff fraud.  

Fairfield personnel invested with Madoff alongside our customers, and we appear to have lost 

$60 million of our own money.    

 Over the course of a 20-year relationship, Fairfield received trading confirmations from 

Madoff that purported to reflect the trades he was making for our investors. Our investors 

received over $3 billion in response to redemption requests that were honored promptly and 

without question by Madoff.   


 Contrary to speculation that has appeared in the media, Fairfield engaged in continuous, 

ongoing monitoring of Madoff’s activity.  That monitoring and the fact that every redemption 

request was honored — combined with Madoff’s then-impeccable credentials, reputation and 

technology, multiple reviews of Madoff by the SEC, the NASD and numerous auditors and 

investors, high credit ratings assigned to Madoff-related products by Fitch, S&P and Moody’s, 

and an unblemished course of dealing over many years — all contributed to our confidence that 

the investments with Madoff were appropriate and safe.   


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6 responses to “Walter Noel and 60 Minutes

  1. PoeticJustic

    Noel and Fairfield are desperately trying to spin their situation but a couple facts:

    1) $60mm of “their own money” is less than their management fees for one year and a fraction of their fund of funds skim over the life of this joint scam.

    2) Most fund of funds require the sponsoring general partner (Fairfield in this case) to invest at least 1% (usually funded of the management fees so no real skin in the game) so all this “own money at risk” was not a result of anything other than paying the price to be in the game.

    3) Saying “redemptions were honored” is a false defense. By definition, ponzi schemes honor redemptions as a failure to do so would end the scheme. A new dollar pays the redeeming dollar.

    4) Saying they were victims is true- they were a victim of their own incompetence, greed, and failure to perform proper due diligence. Did they ever visit the firm’s accountant for example? No, and this is the most basic element of due diligence. A first year MBA would know to do this.

    Fairfield was a victem of its own greed and the lure of easy money. The extended Noel family and broader management team needs to be held accountable as an participant and direct beneficiary of this crime. They looked the other way as the robber looted the store.

  2. Walt

    Poetic –
    So not true. We visited the accountant. He took us to lunch at White Castle in Nyack. You can Google it. The sliders were great. We did right for our investors. Would you eat White Castle if you didn’t have to? Think about it. Off to Basil’s!!
    Your due diligence guy,

  3. PrimeTimeMom

    I’d love to hear what Markopoulos thinks about FFG’s due diligence.

  4. furtive

    What comes around, goes around….

    At least the Rothschild sons of Europe did their due diligence and honored their father’s acumen.

    These sons-in-laws were only marrying into a family with appearance of success for self-aggrandizing and greedy purposes.

    Andres was a cocky dumbell well before he met his future wife — a lifelong pattern to which he was oblivious.

    They were all merely greedy wolves dressed in sheep’s clothing, not realizing that the wolf turned inward on themselves!

    Life is a party until the dominos fall.

    It would be interesting to publish how many charities, if any, will be affected by their addiction to admiration and attention.