It’s not that Stephanie Madoff, wife of Mark, sister-in-law of Andy, D-in-L of Bernie and Ruth isn’t proud of the name or family she married into. Far from it. It’s just that she’s been thinking about it and it just doesn’t “mesh” so well with the image she’s going for. Stalin would be better. Or, hey, how about Hitler? Manson? Wouldn’t have to changed the monogrammed towels. That’s always something to consider. Think about it.
Great news ladies and shemales of SAC– EIM founder Arki Busson, the smiliest financier around, has called off his engagement to Uma Thurman. Supposedly Busson’s major Madoff losses may have played a part in the split– Uma walked off in a “huff” about something– though it was reportedly AB who cut the cord. So, sad for the couple but fantastic for those of you hoping to put the perma-grin back on Arki’s face, by sitting on it. Will you be the one to make him look like this?
Madoff trustee Irving Picard and his humble Cleveland law firm have submitted their bills for the last five months. The total: more than $22 million.
That’s on top of the $15.7 million they made for their first four-and-a-half months on the job.
Imagine you are the financial services regulator for a really big, rich country. The biggest and richest, even. Now, you are really bad at catching fraud. I mean really, really bad. You can’t even do it when a guy is stealing literally billions of dollars and you’re looking right at it; you’re no good at seeing it even when people tell you where to look. It’s just not your strength, which wouldn’t be a big deal, except that you are the financial services regulator for a really big, rich country.
How to rectify the situation? Hire a guy who’s spent a good chunk of his career telling the bad guys how to break the law without you ever being the wiser!
…according to his lawyer. Just like Seth Tobias (missed every day).
Irving Picard promised Sunday that he would bankrupt Andy and Mark Madoff and he was not kidding! The spawn of Satan, along with their cousin Shana and uncle Peter, have been sued for $199 million. The good news is that they’re not being accused of actually taking part in the Ponzi scheme, but only for being possibly so fucking stupid that they had no idea it was going on right under their noses. I can’t speak for Peter and Shana but in M&A’s defense? They were never there! They literally spent 4 days of every work week on a boat fishing and posing for pictures. (They do strike me as himbos, however, so it’s possible they wouldn’t have caught this thing even if they did have more regular attendance at the office.)
The complaint does not accuse the family members of participating in the Ponzi scheme — indeed, lawyers for all four have repeatedly insisted that their clients had no inkling about the fraud until Mr. Madoff confessed to his sons in December, prompting them to turn him in to the federal authorities.
Rather, the trustee’s complaint describes the relatives as “completely derelict” in carrying out their professional duties at the federally regulated brokerage firm.
With the flood of tales of heartbreak and financial ruin from King Ponz still coming in, less than 24 hours after Bernie learned what sentence he will be appealing, someone stepped up to the plate and called the Madoff victims “greedy”. In a Squawk Box Europe interview, Hugh Hendry, chief investment officer at Eclectica, fought the urge to call Madoff investors flat out stupid in favor of greedy sheep who didn’t do their homework.
“I’m sympathetic for people losing money but I think this pejorative term of being greedy still applies. There was an implicit greed in not questioning and just accepting unnatural returns.”
No pity parties at the Hendry estate any time soon.
The part of the House of Ponz that wasn’t lying to people and stealing their money has a new keeper. Surge Trading is the new owner of Bernie’s market making business and their CEO is ready to lead the former Madoff-ites into the future- albeit from the same address.
“I am proud to be working with this team of seasoned, dedicated and client-focused specialists. We are looking forward to quickly beginning the business of trading on behalf of our clients, growing our service offerings, and becoming an industry-leading business.”
It appears as though one great fraud deserves another. A group of Madoff victims is taking a page out of Bernie’s book and asking a federal bankruptcy judge to reconsider the way their losses are being calculated. Their magic formula is one part backward logic, one part betting that a judicial system that awarded damages to somebody who lost their psychic powers can get taken to the cleaners one more time.
The customers say that, by law, they should be given credit for the full value of the securities shown on the last account statements they received before Mr. Madoff’s arrest in mid-December, even though they were bogus and none of the trades were ever made. According to court filings, those account balances add up to more than $64 billion.
Papa Ponzi would be proud.
Victims of Madoff Seek Claims Overhaul [NYT]
That’s the answer Michael Bienes came up with when he paused one day to wonder if something was awry at Madoff Securities, which we’ll likely hear more on in the upcoming PBS investigation “The Madoff Affair,” airing next Tuesday. Also interviewed for the flick are Tremont founder Sandra Manzke, and Sherry Cohen, former assistant to Fairfield Greenwich founder Walter Noel, who’s probably going to take a moment to discuss how Wallie is a big fan of the for-pay-handies,* if we’re continuing with that theme.
*Hopefully including shout-outs for his favorite Fairfield county establishments.
As previously discussed ’round these parts, your secretary knows everything about you, such as, specifically, your dietary habits, and, more generally, your web of lies and bull shit and deceit. For all those reasons, you really need to think twice about firing her. On the off-chance you get hauled off to the big house (after a luxurious penthouse arrest) because you were running a sizable Ponzi scheme, however, you’re out of luck. She’s probably gonna talk! Above, Bernie Madoff’s longtime administrative assistant, Eleanor Squillari, talkin’ B with Vanity Fair. Apparently he was acting weird and taking his blood pressure a lot during the weeks before he confessed, as though he was worried about something. And from her interview with VF‘s Mark Seal:
“Bernie was irresistible to women” and “had a roving eye.” Squillari once caught him perusing the escort ads in the back of a magazine, and he frequently visited massage parlors. “Once, I looked in his address book and found, under M, about a dozen phone numbers for his masseuses. ‘If you ever lose your address book and somebody finds it, they’re going to think you’re a pervert,’ I said.”
Madoff was flirtatious and had a habit of making sexually suggestive remarks: “‘Oh, you know you’re crazy about me,’ he would say to me. Sometimes when he came out of his bathroom, which was diagonal to my desk, he would still be zipping up his pants. If he saw me shaking my head disapprovingly, he would say, ‘Oh, you know it excites you.’ If a pretty young woman came in, he’d say, ‘Do you remember when you used to look like that?’ I’d tell him, ‘Knock it off, Bernie,’ and he’d go, ‘Ah, you still look good.’ Then he’d try to pat me on the ass.”