It's not that we don't like J. Erza Merkin, but one wondered why, given appearances, he remained "in charge" thus far. Alas, no more.
Financier and money manager J. Ezra Merkin agreed to New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo's demands to step down as manager of his hedge funds and place them into receivership, according to a person familiar with the matter.
Mr. Merkin, who funneled $2.4 billion from universities and nonprofit organizations into Bernard Madoff's firm, was charged last month on allegations he "betrayed hundreds of investors" by repeatedly lying to them about how he invested their money.
There is little doubt that the Madoff affair drew the waters back to a great extent and, to borrow a turn of phrase, exposed a number of skinny dippers in the water of finance. In this connection it is no accident that New York State is struggling with its own "promoters scandal" and film distribution underwriting embarrassment at present. We suspect, given this, that Merkin is but the tip of the iceberg. More fun and games to come, no doubt. Probably less amusing names though.
Cuomo Removes Merkin as Manager of Funds [The Wall Street Journal]
(We were very tempted to shorten this to "Cuomo Removes Merkin," but we decided that would be a bit much).