The Overpaid, OCD Life Inside The Madoff Empire

Lucinda Franks on The Daily Beast got a sitdown with a former employee of Bernie Madoff. The executive, speaking anonymously, gave great details on how the Madoff family ran the business, Bernie’s idiosyncracies, and a host of other strange inside peeks.

Some of the gems:

•Three managers who ran parts of the businesses made between $500,000 and $750,000 a year and “didn’t even know anything about modern computerized trading…They mostly socialized, read the news. They would have been unemployable on the outside.” A senior computer programmer made $350,000, well above what they would’ve made elsewhere.

•”The legitimate businesses would make something like $20 to $50 million a year, but when we informally subtracted all the expenses like the inflated salaries we found that it came out to very little, nothing, or losses. We were wondering why Bernie was making 8 to 12 per cent per year for his customers and we were only making about 2 to 4 per cent.”

•Everything on the floors where Madoff range legitimate businesses “had to be black. The computers, the tables, even the picture frames. If he saw a kid’s picture in a silver frame, for instance, he would order the offender to get a black frame. If you had a jacket over the back of your chair, he would take it off. He went down the row of windows and made sure that the slats were all at the exact same angle. You couldn’t have any paper on your desk.”

“I had these huge cheap grey headphones and Mark (Madoff) said to me ‘Those headphones are grey and you can’t wear them.’ So he bought me these expensive pair of Bose.”

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