Wolf Blitzer reported tonight that the Bernard Madoff scams have put some very rich Jewish investors in a bind. Some had put 100% of their liquid assets with him and now need money to live on.
Let me repeat that. Wealthy just a few days ago. Can't pay the light bill today?
Sorry but I just had to laugh. Very loud...
The Times reports:
In the wealthy enclaves of Long Island and Palm Beach, people spent years trying to get on to Bernie Madoff’s client list. Some even joined the blue-blooded golf clubs where he was a member – and where he recruited many of his investors – just for the chance of meeting him.
Inside this world of predominately older, less flashy investors, there is not just shock and panic over the huge losses inflicted by Mr Madoff’s colossal swindle. There is a profound sense of betrayal. To many he was not just a philanthropic pillar of the community: many considered him a friend.
In Palm Beach, Florida, many were happy to part with hundreds of thousands of dollars of membership fees each year in the hope of an encounter with Mr Madoff. Roughly a third of the club’s members had invested with him.
One of the most prominent victims of the scheme is Mort Zuckerman, owner of the New York Daily News and US News & World Report, who ran a fund with considerable sums invested. Steven Spielberg, the Hollywood director, has also been affected; his charity, the Wunderkinder Foundation, was a client.
The membership of the Palm Beach Country Club is, like Mr Madoff, actively involved in charitable concerns. Philanthropic interest is a requisite to join the club, which was established in the 1950s by Jews excluded from Anglo-Saxon clubs. Mr Madoff ran the Madoff Family Foundation, which donated money to numerous Jewish charities. Jewish schools and charities have been particularly badly hit. One is the Elie Wiesel Foundation for Humanity, founded by the Holocaust survivor. Yeshiva University, in New York, where Mr Madoff served on the board, also had investments with him. Some charities have already had to close down.
The shock and distress throughout Palm Beach was widespread and profound yesterday. Dozens of investors, and entire families, face ruin.
What has the world come to when a Jew can't trust a Jew with his money?
It's what the majority of us have had to deal with for a long time.
The backlash is coming.
You Bet Your Life