Another Dead Oligarch: Bernie Madoff

Madoff made it his life’s work to demonstrate the folly of having insiders within an industry (securities exchange) regulate it. Madoff served with distinction on a number of organizations that purported to be helping make the stock market less scammy – little did they know. And Madoff rubbed shoulders with the rich and famous (whose pockets he was picking, while he was doing it) and politicians (whose pockets he was lining, with the money he picked elsewhere).

I have heard accounts of Madoff’s ponzi scheme and career, most notably the American Scandal podcast series – which variously describe Madoff as a smart guy who got in over his head and miraculously turned into a stealing, lying douchebag. But, what if he was a stealing, lying douchebag all along? What if he was just another capitalist oligarch? Maybe he was just “naked short selling” a bit more aggressively than he should have been, which has the same effect – all his investors lose a bunch of money. It’s funny that one small set of practices in an otherwise similar set of practices, those are the illegal ones.

They’re probably going to cremate him, because the worms would spit him out.


  1. Marissa van Eck says

    At least something good happened today. I hear paper money burns reeeeeeal good, Bernie…

  2. DonDueed says

    Madoff’s scheme had a lot in common with the megachurch preachers and other scam artists in the evangelical sector, in that it targeted (by coincidence or design) one particular faith community. In Madoff’s case the target was wealthy Jews rather than lower-middle class rednecks, but the effect was the same.

    One other difference: Madoff ended up dying in prison. The televangelists are still roaming free.

  3. sonofrojblake says

    The main thing I know about the guy is that he’s the reason Kevin Bacon was reduced to doing UK mobile phone ads.

  4. says

    The main thing I know about the guy is that he’s the reason Kevin Bacon was reduced to doing UK mobile phone ads.

    Madoff is why half of my money is in a managed account and the rest is in Dow Jones index funds.

  5. sonofrojblake says


    It started bad. “What the f… is Kevin Bacon, major Hollywood actor, doing slumming it in an ad for mobile phones?”. It was a good idea – the idea being that EE (the company in question, and as it goes the one I’m using to connect to the internet right now) is all about connections, and everyone knows the six degrees of Kevin Bacon game which is about connections. Cute… but the idea they could ever get Bacon seemed fanciful. Then he invested with Madoff.

    It got worse though. Much worse.

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