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Madoff: Banks Knew I Was a Crook (NYT Interview)

Source - New York Times

BUTNER, N.C. — Bernard L. Madoff said he never thought the collapse of his Ponzi scheme would cause the sort of destruction that has befallen his family.

In his first interview for publication since his arrest in December 2008, Mr. Madoff — looking noticeably thinner and rumpled in khaki prison garb — maintained that family members knew nothing about his crimes.

But during a private two-hour interview in a visitor room here on Tuesday, and in earlier e-mail exchanges, he asserted that unidentified banks and hedge funds were somehow “complicit” in his elaborate fraud, an about-face from earlier claims that he was the only person involved in the fraud.

Mr. Madoff, who is serving a 150-year sentence, seemed frail and a bit agitated compared with the stoic calm he maintained before his incarceration in 2009, perhaps burdened by sadness over the suicide of his son Mark in December. In many ways, however, he is unchanged. He spoke with great intensity and fluency about his dealings with various banks and hedge funds. In asserting the complicity of others, Mr. Madoff in the interview pointed to the “willful blindness” of many banks and hedge funds who dealt with his investment advisory business and their failure to examine discrepancies between his regulatory filings and other information available to them.

“They had to know,” Mr. Madoff said. “But the attitude was sort of, ‘If you’re doing something wrong, we don’t want to know.’ ”

While he acknowledged his guilt in the interview and said nothing could excuse his crimes, he focused his comments laserlike on the big investors and giant institutions he dealt with, not on the financial pain he caused thousands of his more modest investors. In an e-mail written on Jan. 13, he observed that many long-term clients made more in legitimate profits from him in the years before the fraud than they could have elsewhere. “I would have loved for them to not lose anything, but that was a risk they were well aware of by investing in the market,” he wrote.

Mr. Madoff said he was startled to learn about some of the e-mails and messages raising doubts about his results — now emerging in lawsuits — that bankers were passing around before his scheme collapsed.

“I’m reading more now about how suspicious they were than I ever realized at the time,” he said with a faint smile.

He did not assert that any specific bank or fund knew about or was an accomplice in his Ponzi scheme, which lasted at least 16 years and consumed about $20 billion in lost cash and almost $65 billion in paper wealth. Rather, he cited a failure to conduct normal scrutiny.

Continue reading...


JP Morgan Faces More Risks On Madoff Trustee Allegations

Wall Street Journal – February 3, 011


By David Benoit (of Dow Jones Newswire)

Janet Tavakoli, the president of Tavakoli Structured Finance and a financial fraud expert, said her initial read showed Picard appeared to raise troublesome issues for J.P. Morgan.

The suit alleges J.P. Morgan was “basically creating products to leverage off of this relationship with Madoff,” Tavakoli said. “Instead then of asking questions, terminating the relationship or talking with the [Securities and Exchange Commission], they decide to create products based on something that they have a series of red flags on.”


JT Note: JPMorgan allegedly was Madoff’s primary banker for more than twenty years. It might be argued that given JPMorgan’s position of leadership in the business and failure to disclose red flags that it alone knew, the bank lent sponsorship and credibility to Madoff allowing him to enjoy a “halo effect.”

JPMorgan had a responsibility to hold itself to a high standard of ethical conduct, due diligence, and disclosure with respect to Madoff’s fund. Yet, allegedly JPMorgan failed to take appropriate action such as investigating suspicious money transfers, investigation of concerns about structured products expressed by its employees, investigations allegations that the fund was a Ponzi scheme, and terminating its business relationship with Madoff when Madoff declined to allow JPMorgan to perform due diligence on him.

Janet Tavakoli


Tavakoli Structured Finance, Inc.



Sculpture - Madoff and the Bull Market


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Reader Comments (20)

Feb 16, 2011 at 12:43 PM | Unregistered CommenterWil Martindale
Daily, my guess is that there still few more madoffs out there that havnt been exposed. part of the delay for exposing the madoff crook was because the govnt didnt want it to effect the fragile markets, they wanted to delay things and hide the truth. This is because of Enron, worldcom ect...
Feb 16, 2011 at 1:03 PM | Unregistered CommenterSell Short
URGENT: the website 'stopforeclosurefraud' has had its' account suspended (my guess is from outside intervention).

Tho follow what has been happening go here:


@DB, get this one out is you can.......
Feb 16, 2011 at 1:59 PM | Unregistered Commenterjohn
One interesting item in the NYT article was buried deep:

In a related e-mail on Jan. 12, Mr. Madoff cited out-of-court settlements that some banks and funds had negotiated with private Madoff investors over the last two years and claimed some settlements were made “to keep me quiet” about the role the institutions played in “creating my situation” and about the identity of the beneficial owners of some of their private accounts.
Feb 16, 2011 at 2:35 PM | Unregistered CommenterG Street
Thanks Mike!
Feb 16, 2011 at 2:36 PM | Unregistered Commenterjohn
Feb 16, 2011 at 4:34 PM | Unregistered Commenterjohn
g street...agreed...that was an important quote from the full interview...these banks, especially jp morgan, knew what was going on with madoff...and several of the billionaire feeder funds that funneled clients toward madoff were complicit...

john...just getting back to things...i will check out the SFF situation...
Feb 16, 2011 at 4:45 PM | Registered CommenterDailyBail
Feb 16, 2011 at 4:47 PM | Registered CommenterDailyBail
The Fed's Policy of Creating Inflation: A Massive Wealth Transfer

Feb 16, 2011 at 4:50 PM | Registered CommenterDailyBail
Johnson & Johnson is recalling 70,000 syringes preloaded with its Invega injectable anti-psychotic drug, the WSJ reports. Cracks have been found in the syringes that could theoretically lead to infections or under-dosing in users of Invega Sustenna, though the company said that risk is low. (One report of an adverse event in Australia may be linked to the problem.)

We’ve been keeping tabs on J&J’s string of recalls, which cost it about $900 million in sales last year. Here’s a running list:

Feb 16, 2011 at 4:51 PM | Registered CommenterDailyBail
Feb 16, 2011 at 4:52 PM | Registered CommenterDailyBail
Serious Doubt Cast on FBI's Anthrax Case Against Bruce Ivins

Feb 16, 2011 at 4:53 PM | Registered CommenterDailyBail
Rep. Ralph Hall (R-Texas), the chairman of the House Science, Space and Technology Committee, is seeking to block funding for the overhaul of major federal climate change research and monitoring programs.

Hall – who questions climate science – wants to amend House spending legislation to prevent the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) from proceeding with creation of a new “Climate Service.”

Feb 16, 2011 at 6:56 PM | Registered CommenterDailyBail
URGENT: the website 'stopforeclosurefraud' has had its' account suspended (my guess is from outside intervention).

Tho follow what has been happening go here:


@DB, get this one out is you can.......


John...i've done some digging, and it looks like they are off-line due to a dispute over payment with their hosting provider site cloud...it doesn't look nefarious at this point...i would assume they will be back online soon...if you have information to the contrary, let us know...i have tried to contact the site operator thru his twitter account...
Feb 16, 2011 at 9:26 PM | Registered CommenterDailyBail
@wil...nice job with this one...

Feb 16, 2011 at 9:37 PM | Registered CommenterDailyBail
@DB, thanks for the update, I really appreciate you helping out on this one.
Feb 16, 2011 at 10:19 PM | Unregistered Commenterjohn
john...they are a great site....they produce awesome content and find stuff from everywhere...
Feb 16, 2011 at 11:52 PM | Registered CommenterDailyBail
There are always more Bernies out there, and reduced regulation will embolden many more. proper enforcement will deter others.
Feb 17, 2011 at 12:06 AM | Unregistered CommenterS. Gompers
Thanx for the info on stopforeclosurefraud.com
Feb 17, 2011 at 12:16 AM | Unregistered Commenterhomeownerant

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