Mr. Ponzi, Meet Mr. Madoff

UPDATE: Before you read about Madoff, take a look at Preznit Bunnypants ducking to avoid thrown Iraqi shoes.  Sure he’s a war criminal, but he’s got pretty good reflexes for an old dude.

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This Ponzi scheme will probably be the largest and longest-running investment fraud uncovered during the downturn, but it will not be the last. It’s related to Big Shitpile because, among other things, hedge funds are some of the big losers. From the New York Times:

The zoning lawyer in Miami trusted him because his father had dealt profitably with him for decades. The officers of a little charity in Massachusetts respected him and relied on his advice.

A charity – this doesn’t look good.

Wealthy men like J. Ezra Merkin, the chairman of GMAC; Fred Wilpon, the principal owner of the New York Mets; and Norman Braman, who owned the Philadelphia Eagles, simply appreciated the steady returns he produced, regardless of market conditions.

But these clients of Bernard L. Madoff had this in common: They chose him to oversee much of their personal wealth.

And now, they fear, they have lost it.

And how come these things never happen to the fucking Yankees?

The first class action has already been filed against Madoff’s firm (and, presumably, Madoff). More will follow, but from the sound of things, there won’t even be marrow in the bones of the carcass.  It’s all gone.

A little background:

While Mr. Madoff is facing federal criminal charges, accused by federal prosecutors of operating a vast $50 billion Ponzi scheme, many of his clients are facing an abrupt reversal of fortune that is the stuff of nightmares.

“There are people who were very, very well off a few days ago who are now virtually destitute,” said Brad Friedman, a lawyer with the Milberg firm in Manhattan. “They have nothing left but their apartments or homes — which they are going to have to sell to get money to live on.”

What I wouldn’t give to have an Upper East Side PUMA ask me for a buck in front of Lobel’s. Lots of rich people who wouldn’t piss on you if you were on fire are going to have to change their lifestyles.  Unfortunately, other less contemptible types will suffer as well.

The news was equally devastating for the Robert I. Lappin Charitable Foundation in Salem, Mass., which works to reverse the dilution of Jewish identity through intermarriage and assimilation by sending teenagers to Israel and supporting other Jewish education efforts.

The foundation was forced on Friday to dismiss its small staff and shut down its programs to cope with its losses in the Madoff funds, according to Deborah Coltin, its executive director.

“We’ve canceled everything as of today, everything,” she said tearfully.

Ms. Coltin said she did not know how the little foundation came to be so exposed to the Madoff firm. Its most recent tax filings show that it had $7 million at the end of 2006, with $143,344 in stocks and the rest in “government securities.”

It reported the sale that year of “Bernie Madoff” securities, but did not explain what those securities were.

Schools and charities.  Another fitting coda for the Bush years.

For Investors, Trust Lost, and Money Too {New York Times]
34 Comments

which works to reverse the dilution of Jewish identity through intermarriage

Sure, send the kids to a kibbutz for the summer, but I’m not sure Yenta is a charitable cause.

…but he’s got pretty good reflexes for an old dude a war criminal.

Fixed! Yr welcome!

schools and charities.
why do we let this man live and breathe? why?

the treasurer of my dad’s previous co-op in nyc disappeared with many millions. never found him.
why are these people such assholes? why?

@Benedick: The guy came him a three-second warning shouting about delivering a farewell kiss and calling Caligutard a dog. Would have been better if he just threw the first shoe from the sitting position, nailed Caligutard in the face and then shouted at him.

I’m sympathetic to some of the marks he conned… but schadenfreudily amused at some of the others who thought he was doing so well because of illegal insider trading, and invested with him because of that.

@FlyingChainSaw: No doubt Shrub has had practice ducking shoes hurled at him by LauraBot.

I have watched the video of this at least five times and it’s entertaining each time. And I’m impressed by the guy’s ingenuity in using what was at hand (foot?) and also adding insult since showing the sole of your shoe to another person is considered an insult in Arab culture.

Hope the dude’s not in Gitmo in 24 hours (or that his carcass is dumped on a Baghdad street corner).

@Larmor: schadenfreudily

An adverb after my own heart, holding to the high standards of Stinque Commenter Debuts.

@SanFranLefty: I nominate this Iraqi journalist for our highest honor: the Order of the Golden Anal Pear with Oak Leaf Cluster, for expressing the frustration of billions of people with Caligutard.

@rptrcub:
Order of the Golden Anal Pear with Oak Leaf Cluster

While that might be the highest honor, I think a new one should be created for him.

With a nod to Chainsaw, I would say the Medal of Syringe-Tipped Aluminum Baseball Bat.

Am packing some kleenex with me for the trip to the movies, per your suggestion.

Should either retire old Ponzi or coin a catchy name for this scheme because this is even greater than what Ponzi could could do.

Ponzi Scheme = short term run of the mill pyramid scam

I suggest, Maddoff Maze/Mess = long term pyramid scam >>>>> Ponzi.

blogenfreude,
Some franchises have a golden horse shoe lodged up their ass. As for the 2007 Mets being chokers, well, they are the worst ever REGULAR season chokers and it makes me feel better that someone had it worse than I did as a Jays fan who suffered the ignominy of regular season endings of 1987, 1988, and 1990.

However, the all time baseball chokers (playoff division) are still the 2004 Yankees against the Boston Red Sox. Hee hee. Even I cheered a little for Red Sox nation (who I hate almost as much as I hate the Yankees) during that series. It still doesn’t make up for losing AJ Burnett to the Yankees though.

@SanFranLefty:
A lot more shoes should be thrown at W. He’s probably getting loaded on AF One while muttering “They have to love me. They have to love me.”

@ManchuCandidate:
Agreed, but I’d start with steel-toed boots and stiletto heels.

@SanFranLefty: Mr Cyn’s respone to the video: Lame DUCK!
Tip the veal.

@ManchuCandidate: Did you watch the rest of the news conference, where he talked about people waving at him with fewer than 5 fingers? He knows just how hated he is, and I think it bugs him.

@ManchuCandidate: At least we have the Phillies to mock. Not this year, of course, but there’s those damn statistics.

@FlyingChainSaw: Dude is toast anyway, why not go out one-upping Kruschev in the shoe-as-prop entry in Britannica?

Problem is all that practice Caligutard has had dodging empties of Jack all his life.

Dana Perino reportedly cried…from laughing?

TJ: Mommy 1.0 talks to ABC in a story about the increase in buttsecks among heterosexual teens.

Carry on.

@rptrcub: I thought buttsex was the Ur-Mommy’s topic.

BBC website now has the clip on infinite loop from every angle. Mr. SFL and I are drinking martinis watching it over and over.

Per NYT, the reporter shouted in Arabic, “This is a gift from the Iraqis; this is the farewell kiss, you dog.”

And if I may be so bold as to make editorial suggestions to our overlords, I hope that one of you can comb through the footage to find the perfect still photo of Shrub ducking with the shoe whizzing by. I hope that the editors of the major US newspapers are as diligent. I have my faith in the liberals of the San Francisco Chronicle, but if USA Today or NYT or WaPo run an embarrassing photo, awesome…

@SanFranLefty: @nabisco: Nabisco, SFL, really, I think we ought to get this guy’s name and name an award after him if not put a website tribute to him.

@FlyingChainSaw:
The shoe thrower is Muntadar al-Zaidi, a reporter with Cairo-based network Al Baghdadia Television

@SanFranLefty: You wait. The next time Caligutard has another press conference, they’ll confiscate all the reporters’ shoes. This guy is great. He is what journalism should be all about in the US right about now.

@ManchuCandidate: MC, incredible. This is great. Thanks. We need to send out a press release that the Stinque.com is giving him an award “for fortitude in journalism,” naming him in effect Stinque.com’s Man of the Year in journalism. The Stinque also pledges that we will give the Muntadar Award once a year in perpetuity. Can you do a poem for the press release?

@SanFranLefty: BBC has the best version, but MSNBC has something embeddable, so now it’s a fresh post. The actual video is too blurry to grab a good still, alas.

@FlyingChainSaw:
The Muntadar Award for Truth in Journalism.

P.S. Let me know if you want me to draft the press release. Srsly.

@ManchuCandidate: Shoes? Al Bundy Television? Can Kelly be far behind?

Why can’t we hae a media like that?

@SanFranLefty: Let me know if you want me to draft the press release.

I need to figure out some kind of delivery mechanism — actually peeked at PRNewswire earlier, but they, like, charge money and shit. Guess we could always attach a PDF to a post, but that seems so pedestrian.

@SanFranLefty: @nojo: BusinessWire, PRNewswire, PRWeb, all charge real money – like low three figures money. There are freebees out there. InternetWire, or something I looked at once. SFL, definitely, pull something together. I will look at freebee distribution schemes with Nojo tomorrow.

@FlyingChainSaw: Hmmm…

PRWeb has a cut-rate account for $80, which is well within deductible expenses for me. We keep coming up with press-release ideas, so I wouldn’t mind throwing a little beer money around to make them happen.

(Oh, that’s $80 per release. Wonderful scam!)

@nojo: @FlyingChainSaw: PRLog.org, I believe, has a free service which will hit Google News when you send something out.

@rptrcub: Exactly what we need. (Presuming they don’t censor our submission, but that apparently is a risk with all the services.)

I’m a bit jealous of Gawker Media getting picked up by Google News (they get tagged as “satire”), but I’m not sure I’m ready yet to risk rejection by submitting Stinque directly. (I’ve done it with a trade-mag site I manage, but they’re manifestly legitimate.) We usually get Googled almost immediately, but not by News.

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