Is the greatest Ponzi schemer in history a bit obsessive-compulsive? From former employees, whispers of his quirks and predilections are emerging. And now, for the first time, we have a look at his offices.
Fox Business Network aired them earlier today. The photos, we hear, come from the laptop of an ex-employee. They reveal a coldly modernist design with as few traces of color as possible — everything is black, gray, or white.
Madoff reportedly could not stand rounded walls, demanding that a semicircular wall in his London offices be remodeled. Which makes the curvy features of his New York headquarters all the odder. (Indeed, they were housed in the iconic Lipstick Building, whose every floor is elliptical.) Julia Fenwick, his London office manager, told the Daily Mail of his insistence that his London office match the New York decor:
Everything was always so controlled. The London office had to resemble as closely as possible the New York office – grey walls, grey carpets, black trim, black cupboards. Everything was grey and black.
On the occasions he visited London, we'd spend days before his arrival levelling the blinds, making sure the computer screens were an identical height, lining every picture up straight. No paper was allowed on the desks.
We'd use black marker pens to touch up the skirting boards and the doors. Anything that looked as if it had a mark or scratch on it, we'd have to retouch. Things like that would drive him nuts.