Just How Dumb Is Bernie Madoff?

Jerry Oppenheimer, the author famous for his gossipy, unauthorized biographies of people Anna Wintour (excellent), Martha Stewart (also good) and Jerry Seinfeld (boring), is publishing a new book about Bernie Madoff. Some of it sounds pretty juicy: Oppenheimer delves into possible ties between Madoff and members of the Mob, his serial unfaithfulness to wife Ruthie, and the book report that he may have fudged in a high school English class. Then again, some of it sounds like total nonsense. Like Oppenheimer's claim that Madoff didn't know how to tell time:

Just before Madoff's arrest, a pal ran into him in Central Park and saw him wearing two gold Rolexes on one wrist. "I gotta know what time it is in my London office," Madoff explained to the friend, who told Oppenheimer: "Think about that—Bernie couldn't do the addition or the subtraction!"

It's hard to find any redeeming qualities to Madoff. But you do have to give him a bit of credit. After all, he managed to carry out the largest Ponzi scheme in history over the course of, like, two decades. And if he figured out how to fake client statements for all those years, presumably he figured out the whole time zone thing, no? Maybe he wore two watches to make a fashion statement? He has always been known as a pretty snazzy dresser.

MADOFF A MONSTER FROM BIRTH [NYP]