A September 9th hearing up in Boston will be devoted to what Walter Noel and his boys knew and when they knew it. I’m going to check – if the hearing is open to the public, I smell road trip. How cool to live-blog from there! Walt, if you’re going (and I assume that you are since you’ve been subpoenaed) maybe we can ride up together. I’ll borrow a trailer and the filly(ie)’s can come too.
Boston Globe, Beth Healy
The Massachusetts memo portrays Fairfield Greenwich as growing more aware over the course of 2008 of gaps in its knowledge of Madoff’s operations. Executives acknowledged to state regulators and to each other in internal e-mails that they couldn’t answer the increasingly probing questions of some clients. They didn’t know Madoff’s trading strategy, they knew only a handful of Madoff’s employees, and had never been allowed to see the trading floor where Madoff was allegedly buying and selling securities for their customers.
By last year, Fairfield was feeling far more pressure. In May 2008, a large European investment client, Unigestion, asked if Madoffreally made the trades he claimed, the state said. Dissatisfied with Fairfield’s assurances, Unigestion withdrew $75 million by August.
In one e-mail to his colleagues on Aug. 20, 2008, [FGG employee] Vijayvergiyasaid he had reassured a customer that after two decades of dealing with Madoff’s firm, “we have good knowledge of BLM’s business,’’ according to text of the e-mail cited in Galvin’s memo.
Yet just the day before, Vijayvergiya wrote in another internal e-mail that “unfortunately there are certain aspects of BLM’s operations that remain unclear and although we are attempting to obtain responses from Bernie Madoff . . . this process could take some time.’’[snip]That same month, another big customer, JPMorgan, asked about the trading counterparties in Madoff’s options-investment strategy; when Fairfield couldn’t answer, the Wall Street giant withdrew its money.
Though they could not answer clients’ specific questions, Fairfield Greenwich executives drummed up a stock reply to respond to them. According to the memorandum, a Nov. 14 e-mail by a Fairfield analyst laid out a “standard response’’ for clients, “setting forth the basis on which Fairfield was satisfied that adequate controls existed to ensure that the Madoff assets were properly supervised.’’
While FWIW was unable to reach FGG spokesman Seth Faison for comment (not that we tried) Edgar Martins, as usual, spoke for him: “It’s all a bunch of horrible lies,” Martins insisted on behalf of Faison. “Horrible! My clients were busy as little beavers, keeping track of their profits and Andres’ whereabouts – do you have any idea how hard it is to keep track of a drunken skipper on a boat that goes 39 knots and has the seven seas to get lost in? – that they couldn’t possibly be expected to watch their old friend Bernie. The man was the fucking head of the fucking NASD, for Crissake! You think Walter’s gonna call him a crook? Lose a zillion bucks in fees? Go pound sand.”