Madoff on Madoff: His recent interview with the Financial Times

 

In an exclusive interview with the Financial Times, Bernie Madoff tells his story to two journalists, David Gelles and Gillian Tett.

The pair visited Madoff in Butner, North Carolina home to the US prison complex that houses a hospital, a minimum-security unit, and two medium security units where he has been since July 2009.

This is only the second interview he has given since going to jail. The piece, entitled From Behind Bars, Madoff spins his story it is worth examining because it gives us a glimpse of the man and his version of the truth.

Remember he pulled off the largest Ponzi scheme known, taking about $20 billion US in capital from investors, including European nobility, ordinary people, charities, the Jewish community and his own family.

For a quick refresher, here’s a short chronology from the piece on the “rise and fall” of Madoff’s life.

1960 – Bernard Madoff launches Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC.
1990 – Madoff named chairman of NASDAQ.
December 11, 2008 – Federal agents arrest Madoff after he confesses to his family that he was running a $65 billion Ponzi scheme.
March 12, 2009 – Madoff pleads guilty to 11 counts of fraud, money laundering and other charges.
June 29, 2009 – Madoff sentenced to 150 years in prison.
August 11, 2009 – Frank DiPascali (Madoff lieutenant) pleads guilty to fraud charges. He agrees to cooperate with government.
November 13, 2010 – US marshals raise more than $2 million in an auction of 400 items including jewellery and slippers.
December 11, 2010 – Deadline for bankruptcy trustee to file lawsuits and seek recoveries for victims. Madoff’s son Mark commits suicide on the two-year anniversary of his father’s arrest.

Over the next few days, I am going to highlight Madoff’s comments in the interview to illustrate how he used wealth, power, and influence to deceive regulators, investors, banks, associates, and even, he claims, his own family, over a 16-year period.

Next: Madoff starts the interview by talking about being “an outsider” who was driven to succeed