Time for an up-to-date roundup on the nifty story of Bernie Madoff, the Wall Street titan accused yesterday of running a $50 billion Ponzi scheme. Bathrobes! Big shots! And plenty of broke Jews, below!
- His ignoble end: opening the door "in his upper East Side apartment in pale blue bathrobe and slippers, facing two FBI agents."
- Madoff had a super-select client list, including the co-owners of the New York Mets. A spokesman says this won't effect the team at all. Focus, Reyes.
- One competitor investigated Madoff's firm and wrote a letter in 1999 (!) to the SEC saying, "Madoff Securities is the world's largest Ponzi scheme." That dude should start his own hedge fund, tomorrow.
- Who did Madoff's scam really hurt? The rich! And the Jews! And above all, the rich Jews! He may have totally broken most of the Jewish members of the Palm Beach Country Club:
He was a brilliantly successful money manager who may well have handled the assets of a majority of the 300 members, as well as that of those of a largely Jewish clientele across the eastern United States and a number of wealthy WASPs.
Lots of Palm Beach millionaires are wiped out! And their charity money!
There was one largely Jewish charity event last evening.
"It was like the Titanic," one attendee said. "The ship was sinking, and people were crying, 'I lost this and that.' And everybody was drunk. The Titanic was going down, and we might as well carry on."
College funds! Pensions! Everything! Up and down the east coast!
"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."
At least it's gone to a better place:
And one hedge-fund manager, Douglas Kass, estimates that "at least $15 billion of wealth, much of which was concentrated in southern Florida and New York City, has gone to 'money heaven.' "