The madness of Bernie Madoff

Lucinda Franks has an interesting interview with an ex-Madoff employee, up today on The Daily Beast. Creepy company, in many odd ways. But Bernie paid them huge salaries while the legitimate business lost money and no one wanted to leave such a sugar daddy. The most interesting question for the future is how much Mark and Andy Madoff knew. If their trading firm never made enough profit to pay them such huge salaries, how did they think they were getting paid? The employee Franks interviews says they all wondered how Bernie could be making 8-12% while they were lucky to be cranking out 3-4%. Wondered, but never asked. Were the boys onto the scam? This man thinks so:

Ruth was the firm’s bookkeeper: “But I only saw her walk through once or twice,” Some friends of the employee, in hindsight, have said that Andrew and Mark must have known or suspected that things were not kosher. “They were educated guys, one of them had gone to Wharton, I think. They saw the balance sheets. We were making no money, some years losing it, and the brothers, I heard, were getting $4 million annually. That just didn’t track.”

“But I don’t want to believe that they knew or were involved,” the employee said. “I believe they’re innocent. They were really nice guys, they looked very straight. They treated me well even though as a computer programmer, I didn’t command the respect the hotshot traders did. When I told them I wanted to leave, Andrew tried to persuade me to stay and when I declined, he let me work only four days a week so I could start up my computer business.

I hope Franks will divert some of her investigative energies into Walter Noel’s operations. The woman is a talented writer (well, that might explain her Pulitzer prize) and is great at digging. Maybe if I promise her a gold-plated shovel she’ll come out to Round Hill and ask around.

My favorite bit from the interview?

“We all joked that the motto of the place was that ‘it was good to work for Bernie.”

You bet. Tough luck if you invested with him, too.


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3 responses to “The madness of Bernie Madoff

  1. Inagua

    Bernie started his business at age 22 with no prior experience in the industry using money from his father-in-law. Together they immediately started selling the Ponzi to fellow guests at the Sunny Oaks Hotel in the Catskills. Two employees of the father-in-law, Avellino and Bienses, also sold the Ponzi, both through the father-in-law’s CPA firm and for Bernie. The conclusion is inescapable: Bernie married into the Ponzi at age 22 and kept it going for 48 years. The broker/dealer was nothing but a cover to impress gullible fools like Walter Noel.

  2. Walt

    Gullible fool? I was duped by the Wizard of Wall Street. I am a victim, I tell ya.
    Anyway, it is good to see Ruthie is holding her own:
    Almost Happy Hour!!
    Your Buddy,

  3. pulled up in OG

    If you wanna pound the crap out of Bernie . . .

    The old geezers at Palm Beach CC have shanked so many into the ponds, even the alligators are sick of him.