Monday, April 25, 2011

A To-Be Released Perspective of the Madoff Masquerade (NYTimes)

Ruby Washington/The New York Times

Bernard Madoff in 1999. Ten years later, he would get a 150-year prison term for the largest Ponzi scheme in history.

Scenes From the Madoff Masquerade

This article was adapted from “The Wizard of Lies: Bernie Madoff and the Death of Trust,” by Diana B. Henriques, a reporter for The New York Times. The book, to be published on Tuesday by Times Books, analyzes Mr. Madoff’s rise and fall.
IT is Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2007, the first day of the last year of Bernie Madoff’s epic fraud.
The paperwork has been completed for a $9 million unsecured loan from his company to Peter Madoff, whose titles at the firm now include senior managing director, chief compliance officer, head of the options department and — since a few years ago — chief compliance officer for the private money management business that Bernie runs on the 17th floor of the distinctive oval office tower known as the Lipstick Building in Midtown Manhattan.
Still, the Madoff firm is casual about titles — Bernie almost seems to make them up as he goes along. Peter’s primary title has always been “Bernie’s brother.” And this latest loan, to finance a real estate investment, reflects this reality.
At most big firms these days, an executive’s request for a $9 million insider loan with a gentle interest rate would be coldly and firmly denied as inappropriate. Despite growing worries in the financial markets, longtime employees of Bernie Madoff’s firm have no trouble borrowing cash when they need it. Bernie rarely says no.
But this loan to Peter — like all the insider loans that have come before and that will follow in succeeding months — is sucking out cash that Bernie Madoff will need when the turmoil bearing down on Wall Street finally hits.

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