November 03, 2011

Bernie and Ruth Madoff

Bernie and Ruth Madoff

Speaking of Uncle Sam, the TV networks should be ashamed of themselves. All this week they have given saturation coverage to the Madoff family, probably the most disliked bunch since the Manson gang. TV in America looks to satisfy the lowest visceral needs, hence the Madoff saga invading our drawing rooms nonstop. The Madoffs come across as vain, greedy, dysfunctional, and out to play the victim. Although very well-off, the son, two daughters-in-law, and the wife are selling their story, and the American public is buying it. They’ve come up with a failed suicide story that smells to high heaven. They’re shilling a book proclaiming their innocence and their victimhood. It’s a sordid business that was timed perfectly.

Here’s the latest Madoff con: In September, Manhattan federal judge Jed Rakoff threw out nine of 11 counts brought by the trustee Irving Picard against the New York Mets’ owners. He judged that the “clawback” should apply only to the two years prior to Madoff’s coming clean. This ruling lets the owners—two very shady characters named Fred Wilpon and Saul Katz who were Madoff’s very close buddies—off the hook. It not only severely limits the amount the trustee can recover from the shady ones—only 386 million big ones—it lets the two shady ones keep around 750 million greenbacks Madoff threw their way during his heyday of stealing. The two-year cap is a scandal in itself, and it stinks to high you-know-what. The trustee had argued that the clawback should go back at least six years, and that by limiting it to two, the judge is reducing monies available for victims by many billions.

But it gets worse. Under the six-year rule, the disgusting Madoffs would have had to give back a total of $141 million. A two-year statute would require the disgusting ones to return close to $59 million. You do the math, dear readers. I failed math at Blair but got lucky during the final exam after some vigorous coaching from Mr. Koth. So I did the math, and the ghastly Madoffs will retain 82 million greenbacks of other investors’ money. If this is justice, give me the kind the Libyans applied on Gaddafi père.

After the publicity blitz by the disgusting ones, look for discreet appearances—slowly at first—orchestrated by PR types, and perhaps a few trips to London (always for charity, of course). Sunny Marlborough is in New York shilling for a new roof for Blenheim Palace. What better way to start the rehabilitation by contributing to his roof? They wouldn’t even need to fly over The Pond.



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