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23 May 2011

New Yorker Review: Madoff’s Curveball

HedgeCo News - In the upcoming May 30th issue of The New Yorker, the article by Jeffrey Toobin, “Madoff’s Curveball”, covers the the money Fred Wilpon, the chairman and chief executive of the New York Mets, lost in Madoff’s hedge fund Ponzi scheme and what it means for Wilpon’s future with the Mets.

Tobin also speaks with Madoff about his take on the events.

Wilpon was introduced to Bernard Madoff by his son, Jeff, who had become friendly with Madoff’s son Mark. Toobin writes that “for a few years they had contact only through their sons. Then Madoff made a casual offer to manage some of Wilpon’s money.” Wilpon, his family, and his friends began sending Madoff money to manage in the mid-eighties, and Wilpon tells Toobin, “we jumped in very small. And, as the years went, it became more and more and more and more.”

“Madoff talks about his investment strategy as if it were a finely tuned instrument that just went a little off at some point,” but that he “is contrite—sort of.” Still, Madoff speaks about his financial acumen with unmistakable pride. “The strategy that I was using for them, whether it was real or not, was not something that anyone would understand if you were not an expert.”

Madoff tells Toobin that Wilpon “must feel that I betrayed him, as do most of my friends who were involved. Hopefully, they will understand the pressures I was under. I made money for them legitimately to start, but then I got trapped and was not able to work my way out of it. It just became impossible for me to extricate myself, or even try and extricate myself.”

“It’s really tragic,” Madoff tells Toobin. “I feel terrible about everything that he’s going through.” Madoff says that Wilpon and Katz “were only guilty of trusting their friend and I will live with that guilt and shame forever.”

The full review can be found on HedgeCo News.