Talk:Madoff investment scandal

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Rather than the 'mug shot' which is expected to look 'suspicious', a portrait of Madoff at his most disarmingly gregarious & confidence inspiring, would serve better to educate readers about the nature of a 'con-man', or perhaps both, side-by-side. --Wikidity (talk) 03:55, 29 January 2016 (UTC)

Madoff Investment Scandal[edit]

Is there a reason for the full title to be capitalised? It usually wouldn't be the case so I was wondering if this is special? --Candlewicke ST # :) 19:27, 12 March 2009 (UTC)

Good catch, which is now fixed. Newguy34 (talk) 22:24, 12 March 2009 (UTC)

History Merge[edit]

I tagged this article for history merging since it was split from Bernard Madoff. However, the tag seems to be for renamed articles, so I'm not 100% sure it applies to split articles. If another tag was supposed to be used instead, please replace the tag I added. Calathan (talk) 20:03, 12 March 2009 (UTC)

Well, looking at WP:SPLIT I don't see a history merge as being part of the procedure. Among the templates provided for splitting articles, none of them apply to merging history. I believe it's because you're not supposed to do it because unlike a rename or merge, this is a brand new article being created. I can understand your reasoning behind wanting to merge history because the content here was originally worked on by another article, but the problem is that unlike a merge or rename, with a split most of the page history from the old article just wouldn't apply to this page, because it would be for content other than this. I won't touch the template because I don't have enough experience with splits to say whether or not it's appropriate but I'd guess it's not what should be done. -- Atamachat 20:51, 12 March 2009 (UTC)
I'm thinking you are correct. Really, all that needs to be changed is that the edit summary when the page was created should mention the split and what article it was split from (as stated in WP:SPLIT). I don't know if an admin could edit the edit summary, or if that isn't possible. Hopefully someone will come along who knows the proper thing to do in this case. I'm going to leave the tag there for now since I think it will alert anyone who knows what to do that something needs to be done. Calathan (talk) 21:02, 12 March 2009 (UTC)
  • I get the impression that page Madoff investment scandal was created over several edits of page Bernard Madoff around 17:50, 12 March 2009, cut-&-pasting some matter each time. There is no one definite cut point to choose, if I tried to move the history of page Bernard Madoff before the split to page Madoff investment scandal. Sorry: this history-merge cannot be done. Anyway, that older edit history is partly editing matter about the fraud and partly editing matter about the rest of his personal and business life. Anthony Appleyard (talk) 22:17, 12 March 2009 (UTC)
  • I took the content of Bernie Madoff and used much of it for this new article. I intended to accomplish creation of a new article re: the scandal by using information that was in Madoff's BLP (inappropriately so, IMO). My error was forgetting to add the "Split" tag in the edit summary. Newguy34 (talk) 22:23, 12 March 2009 (UTC)
  • The size of page Bernie Madoff went down by about a half over 8 edits over the period 17:47 to 17:55, 12 March 2009. Page Madoff investment scandal was created full size in one act at 17:30, 12 March 2009. Anthony Appleyard (talk) 22:33, 12 March 2009 (UTC)
  • I made a null edit to introduce into the history a link to the article from which this was split, which, in my estimation, for reasons I'll not bother to enumerate unless someone undertakes to take a different position on the question, satisfies the GFDL, even as, theoretically (though not functionally) suboptimally, it does not precede the creating edit. Joe 23:45, 12 March 2009 (UTC)


This article appears to demonstrate a strong anti-madoff POV. It violates evey rule in WP:AVOID using such words as "perpetrated" and "victims". The title also uses "scandal" and a good part of the article seems to deviate off into a laundry list of various victims. It also uses various phrases, linked to citations, that are not proper wording for a neutral article. It also fails to balances points of view properly and just goes down the page, picking one source and usin its statement. All this in a BLP-related article is cause for serious concern.--Ipatrol (talk) 00:03, 13 March 2009 (UTC)

Well, WP:AVOID states that there are no words that shouldn't be used in Wikipedia, so the use of these words is not, on its face, a problem. So, how should we refer to those that invested with Madoff, who he, himself, admits he bilked out of tens of billions of dollars in a fraudulent scandal? I think when we are talking about criminal activity, these terms are probably OK. And, relatively little of the article talks about the victims directly, so I am removing the tag related to that. Let's leave the POV tag while we work through this. Newguy34 (talk) 02:30, 13 March 2009 (UTC)
LOL, this is like saying that an article on the Soviet Union is anti-Stalin because they use words such as "dictatorship" or "communist". (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 02:36, 13 March 2009 (UTC).
In line with the above comments, your argument seems to be completely without merit. I will remove the tag. Wimstead (talk) 11:48, 13 March 2009 (UTC)
The only bias I can see is that the article appears to go out of the way to mimimise mention of his Jewishness, even though it was a significant factor in his ability to perpetrate the fraud. Articles about Jews with positive achievements rarely downplay Jewish identity. This is an example of systemic bias. Wimstead (talk) 11:51, 13 March 2009 (UTC)
The fact that someone has found it necessary to label Madoff as a Jew in his Profile is itself a form of bias. This is not even the page about him personally, but the scandal he created. The pages for Carlo Ponzi and Reed Slatkin, for example, do not label them as "Catholic" and "Scientologist" despite the fact that these were their belief systems, And they also used their membership in their respective communities to gain trust in the same manner that Madoff did. Apparently the article needs a label up top to remind us all not to trust those Jews with our money. Talk about a bias that transcends Wikipedia. SPQR 1107 (talk) 08:42, 26 November 2013 (UTC)
Do you have evidence to support the idea of editors actively excluding/removing information because of systemic bias ? Do you have reliable sources to support your statement that his Jewishness was a significant factor in his ability to commit fraud that would comply with WP:V ? If so, there is nothing stopping you adding those to the article. Do you have statistical data to support your positive achievements => article rarely downplays Jewish identify, negative achievements => article minimises mention of Jewish identify view ? To say that this is an example of systemic bias seems like the kind of statement that requires solid empirical data to me, call me old fashioned. Otherwise it's not possible to distinguish between systemic bias in Wikipedia and systemic bias in comments about Wikipedia. Sean.hoyland - talk 16:07, 13 March 2009 (UTC)
I do not think the article shows systemic bias or bias of any kind. No dog in this fight; have not edited it.--JohnnyB256 (talk) 16:25, 14 March 2009 (UTC)
What a OTT pedantic, policy-obsessed comment. I am not going to waste my time on arguing with someone displaying such uncalled for hostility. If you had actually thought about the tone of my comments you would realise that I was saying that there was NOT a serious problem, You need to stop hyperventilating. Your gleeful call for a potentially endless wikilawyering debate is a perfect illustration of why people with a life should not waste their time getting involved in Wikipedia. Wimstead (talk) 23:11, 17 March 2009 (UTC) seem to have mis-interpreted the emotional content of my words. There isn't any. Perhaps you thought I was rallying to the defence of an ethnic group or wikipedia. I don't care about any of that stuff. I'm not interested in defending ethnic groups or wikipedia. They don't need my help in that way. There are plenty of editors here ready to jump in and defend their favourite football team, ethnic group, religion or whatever in talk page spirals of death. Your statements seemed quite clear to me though. You identified a problem of systemic bias in this article and in wiki in general from your perspective. These are bold words. You may very well be right for all I know but you didn't provide any evidence and I couldn't see it (which means nothing because I probably have my own systemic bias like everyone else). Obviously nothing changes here without evidence. If your statements are right and there is systemic bias in this instance (whether it's deliberate or accidental) then I care about it and it needs to be addressed (including by you since you brought it up) because it's a serious issue. If your perception is wrong for whatever reason then that's good news. My interest is in combating systemic bias in wiki articles particularly if it's related to ongoing ethnic/political/religious conflicts. Sean.hoyland - talk 11:10, 18 March 2009 (UTC)
The media has a general viewpoint (as can be deduced from the citations) that Madoff was a greedy evil person who used his religion to rip people off. This type of bias, called "citation bias", is the result of a large portion of available sources supporting a POV. That may make that viewpoint notable, but it does not make it neutral. Madoff in his court statement said it had nothing to do with greed: that it began as an attempt to get his clients through a recession and became impossible to undo. This viewpoint is hardly mentioned anywhere in the article. Material relating to a person must follow very similar standards to a BLP. Furthermore, a {{NPOV}} tag objectivly states that there is a neutrality dispute, not subjectivly that the dispute has merit. Therefore, do not remove the tauntil there is consensus that the article is neutral, which my opposition means there is not.--Ipatrol (talk) 16:09, 14 March 2009 (UTC)
I'm having difficulty understanding why you feel this article is not neutral. Can you cite some specific examples of absence of neutrality? This is an article about the largest Ponzi scheme in history, the perpetrator of which has admitted culpability and pleaded guilty to 11 criminal counts. So I think it is inevitable that it will have a negative tinge. For it not to have a negative tinge would not be neutral, as these are negative facts. If you have an article about a tornado you will have words like "death" and "destruction" and this article inevitably has words like "victim" because there were victims. The article is wordy in spots, but I think that the neutrality tag is not justified and should be removed, unless you can show basis for it. --JohnnyB256 (talk) 16:24, 14 March 2009 (UTC)
I agree with JohnnyB here ... Ipatrol's argument would have merit if Madoff hadn't pleaded guilty. The judge himself said that with that plea, he is no longer presumed innocent. Blueboy96 16:34, 14 March 2009 (UTC)
Perhaps you could include that in a few sentences explaining Madoff's professed motivation for creating a Ponzi scheme? This is an article about Madoff's crimes, not his good intentions and remorse. Faradn (talk) 07:42, 15 March 2009 (UTC)

I understand the above discussion as one editor saying there is a POV issue, and no other editors in agreement. I'd like to remove the tag on that basis, but I'd like to hear other opinions. JohnnyB256 (talk) 16:44, 15 March 2009 (UTC)

At the risk of starting a vote tally, I'd agree. Newguy34 (talk) 14:58, 16 March 2009 (UTC)
  • support not having a vote about it... Sean.hoyland - talk 08:50, 17 March 2009 (UTC)
Now that Madoff confessed and pled guilty we can probably stop worrying about injuring his reputation. The guy is a convicted criminal in a cell at the Manhattan Correctional Center and will probably die in jail. The remaining questions are about who else was involved. --John Nagle (talk) 05:45, 21 March 2009 (UTC)
Anybody who rips off 64 billion dollars from average joes trying to put kids through college deserves the death penalty. The fact that anybody would even dare accuse this article of anti-Madoff POV is highly troubling to me.Kcchief915 (talk) 00:19, 14 August 2010 (UTC)

circular wikilinking[edit]

beginning of article's 2nd paragraph - "Madoff founded the Wall Street firm Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC in 1960," - includes link "Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC". said link returns one (via redirect) to this same article (i.e., "Madoff investment scandal"). given size (pre scandel) the securities firm, in my opinion, should have had its own article already (and still should).-- (talk) 02:02, 13 March 2009 (UTC)

I removed the link. Baeksu (talk) 05:53, 13 March 2009 (UTC)

i agree. i created that page which is an unbiased title, but it was transferred to this. let's rename this or split it.

Furtive admirer (talk) 16:36, 15 March 2009 (UTC)


This page is HUGE. It needs to be about 1/2-1/3 this size to be in line with WP:SIZE.

Readable prose size What to do

> 100 KB Almost certainly should be divided (this article is larger than this) > 60 KB Probably should be divided (although the scope of a topic can sometimes justify the added reading time) > 30 KB May need to be divided (likelihood goes up with size) < 30 KB Length alone does not justify division

< 1 KB If an article or list has remained this size for over a couple of months, consider combining it with a related page. Alternatively, why not fix it by adding more info?

Soxwon (talk) 17:19, 13 March 2009 (UTC)

After reading it through, I suggest splitting off:

Previous investigations Others possibly involved

And also summarize the charges more. Soxwon (talk) 20:28, 13 March 2009 (UTC)

Edited, took out a lot of general information that wasn't really necessary. Soxwon (talk) 02:53, 14 March 2009 (UTC)

Just want to point out you should consider what the definition of readable prose is. That doesn't include references which is a huge amount of this article's size. This article probably doesn't need to get any larger but it's not even close to 100 KB in readable prose. Someone with a good program to measure readable prose can give you the real amount. LonelyMarble (talk) 05:00, 14 March 2009 (UTC)

Because this is an on-going legal proceeding about a very complex matter, we are including more footnotes than usual and must be very careful to include enough detail to be balanced and fair. A one sentence article, "The guy is a crook and people are mad at him" would not be helpful. We need to include enough detail to be a helpful reference source. This topic will only grow more complex as the claw-back lawsuits begin in a effort to redistribute money from the guys that received payouts from Madoff to the guys that kept their money with Madoff. Racepacket (talk) 05:44, 14 March 2009 (UTC)

This is a mammoth scandal so the size is understandable. Perhaps someone can suggest cuts. I wouldn't know where to begin. 165 footnotes may be necessary,but can't they be formatted to take up less space? JohnnyB256 (talk) 16:27, 14 March 2009 (UTC)
Yeah it's big, but it is still pretty volatile since it is an ongoing case. I think that there's not much point editting it violently until things settle down. As for the footnotes, I don't see a way to trim these as the text is in the links embedded in the page. Jesus on E's (talk) 02:21, 15 March 2009 (UTC)
As per User:Jesus on E's, it may be easier to take a look at this in a couple of weeks and trim the fat. CopaceticThought (talk) 07:43, 15 March 2009 (UTC)
I did an estimate of the readable prose size, just by copying and pasting the body of the article without reference text, and it is about 49 KB in size (about 49,000 characters with spaces). 49 KB is pretty large but it's not excessively large, I wouldn't trim just for the sake of trimming. Tightening up redundancies and such is always good, and like others have said, it will take awhile for the scope of this article to come into complete focus. LonelyMarble (talk) 10:47, 15 March 2009 (UTC)
I deleted over 11 KB of pure prose from the article already, another big problem is that it read like a newspaper and had information that was unecessary. Soxwon (talk) 22:21, 15 March 2009 (UTC)
I agree about not making big cuts. Maybe it can be trimmed, and I will give it a look. JohnnyB256 (talk) 16:33, 15 March 2009 (UTC)
Well, a lot of the information I've deleted so far are things like the Dante's inferno quote (really?), "had been confined to his apartment until he entered his guilty plea and was ordered to jail pending sentencing. He faces life in prison, as well as restitution of up to $170 billion. Madoff pled guilty to all charges without a plea bargain" (pulled from the lead, yes it's important, but not really something for the lead), and such statements as "The investors believed their money was safe, it wasn't." Much of it is just generally things that really don't matter and don't belong. Soxwon (talk) 14:45, 16 March 2009 (UTC)
But all that is important stuff. His penthouse confinement has been a subject of widespread public outrage, and his sentencing to life imprisonment was page one news around the world. Seems by any measure to be important enough to put in the opening paragraphs. JohnnyB256 (talk) 15:29, 16 March 2009 (UTC)
An opening is supposed to summarize what happened, the outrage should be stuck in the appropriate section of the article. Soxwon (talk) 16:00, 16 March 2009 (UTC)
I'm not talking about the outrage per se. However, come to think of it, the widespread public outrage is a significant part of the scandal that I suggest deserves mention high up. I don't believe it is at present. We don't want to slant the article, but a neutral mention of the widespread public indignation, and the vocal concerns expressed in Congress, is a major part of what makes the Madoff scandal such a historic event. JohnnyB256 (talk) 17:45, 16 March 2009 (UTC)
I agree. However, I'm not sure we can accurately gauge this while the event is still going on. "Widespread" seems a bit POV and blanket. Soxwon (talk) 18:17, 16 March 2009 (UTC)

What does a Madoff statement look like?[edit]

I don't know if this is gone into anywhere - I don't have all night to check this out - but someone said to me that if you had invested money with Madoff you would get a statement (how often?) which contained details of trades and investments that did not actually take place. Or was there just one line telling you what your profit was for the month? Anybody know the answer? JohnClarknew (talk) 05:39, 15 March 2009 (UTC)

See this here (talk) 05:49, 11 April 2009 (UTC)
Here's a better one: [1] Rune Kock (talk) 15:39, 12 April 2009 (UTC)
Nice. I added a link to the statement in the article, as it clearly demonstrates the impossibility, discussed in the text, that one person could manufacture these statements alone. Ecphora (talk) 17:00, 12 April 2009 (UTC)

Footnotes screwed up[edit]

Many of the reference notes in this article do not connect to the correct footnote. For example, if you click on 147, it highlights footnote 143. Can someone who understands this fix it? Thanks. Ecphora (talk) 13:04, 16 March 2009 (UTC)

Okay, I've fixed this. There were all sorts of problems affecting several refs. The most common cause is that people are being careless and removing the instance of a named ref that contains all of the information like the url etc. That means that all subsequent uses of the named ref will fail. So, if you see something like ref name="somename" immediately followed by information like cite news | ... etc, don't remove it unless you are deliberately removing all cites for that ref in the entire article. Sean.hoyland - talk 14:06, 16 March 2009 (UTC)
They're still messed up. 216 connects to 211. Ecphora (talk) 02:53, 18 March 2009 (UTC)
I assume someone has fixed that as it looks okay to me. Perhaps editors should use the refTools gadget to avoid these kind of errors. Go to my preferences -> Gadgets -> check the 'refTools' editing gadget which... adds a "cite" button to the editing toolbar for quick and easy addition of commonly used citation templates. Sean.hoyland - talk 03:10, 18 March 2009 (UTC)
Nope. If, for example, you click on ref 216, then footnote 212 is highlighted. The lower numbers work correctly. Ecphora (talk) 11:56, 18 March 2009 (UTC)
Not sure what you mean by highlighted but I assume you mean aligning the ref # you clicked to the top of the browser page. For lower ref numbers the page will do that but it can't do that once the ref # goes beyond a certain number (e.g. 203 on my screen) because it's already reached the end of the page e.g. it can't align ref 224 to the top of the browser page because there's no page left to scroll down. Does that make sense ? Is that what you meant ? Sean.hoyland - talk 13:04, 18 March 2009 (UTC)
The article is over-referenced (yes this does occasionally happen on Wikipedia) and I'll suggest that deleting a few - especially those not properly formated - might help out this problem. Smallbones (talk) 19:38, 18 March 2009 (UTC)

Highlighted - When I click on a footnote number in the text, the list of footnotes comes up, with one footnote at the top of the screen highlighted in blue. The footnote that comes up appears to be the correct one as far as content, but its number does not always correspond. Thus, if you click on 58, footnote 58 is highlighted in blue. But if you click on 224, footnote 218 comes up highlighted in blue. The text of fn 218 seems to be right, but shouldn't the number be the same? There apparently is some problem in formatting some of the notes, or perhaps I simply don't understand this. Ecphora (talk) 13:25, 19 March 2009 (UTC)

Yep they're messed up again. I think it's probably things like this <ref>[ Madoff Lawyer Ira Sorkin Invested $18,860 With Madoff (Update2) -<!-- Bot generated title --</ref> which is missing an > between -- and </ref> i.e. the comment isn't closed. That will cause a whole bunch of refs to vanish from the ref list which produces number mismatchs. Gadgets are better at this than people so I vote for the refTools gadget. Sean.hoyland - talk 14:31, 19 March 2009 (UTC)

It looks like we have got this fixed for now. I'd like to ask everybody to use a format such as: <ref name="">{{cite news | last = | first = | coauthors = | title = | work = | pages = | language = | publisher = | date = | url = | accessdate = }}</ref>

for the references. I think this prevents many of these problems, and gives properly formated text to the footnotes. Improper footnotes include links to yahoo news (which inevitably break). There are also multiple footnotes per sentence which foul things up (e.g. a 7 word sentence with 5 footnotes). We can get rid of most of these. A little planning with footnotes goes a long way. Smallbones (talk) 16:37, 19 March 2009 (UTC)

Thanks for fixing this. It was beyond my abilities. Ecphora (talk) 19:04, 19 March 2009 (UTC)


I'm not starting an edit war over this. FurtiveAdmirer can you please give evidence as to why this particular quote should go in the lead? Quoting the poet laureate is nice, but that space could be filled with much more meaningful and/or important information and substance. Soxwon (talk) 18:22, 16 March 2009 (UTC)

It has been moved. you must stop your reversions. you are very verbose and all i am doing is tightening the article. if you want a byline, please write a book in your own personal words. you can even self-publish. you appear to be bullying everyone. try to see yourself more clearly.

Furtive admirer (talk) 16:27, 17 March 2009 (UTC)

Instead of attacking me, why not provide examples of unfair editing that you perceive. I've cut out a lot of information that A) was redundant B) made it read like a newspaper C) was synthesis with regards to how it was involved and D) wasn't really important information. If you disagree, plz point to where and why. Soxwon (talk) 18:28, 17 March 2009 (UTC)

no attacks from me; just constructive criticism. i merely think your grammar and syntax needs refining. sentences lack noun- verb agreement and too many clauses repeat same info/person in different tenses in the same sentence. you are writing as if you are conversing, using lean lexicon. just cleaning up for brevity also. that is, if you are the writer of the "previous investigation" section.

did you put back the dante reference/quote in the lead? thanx if you did. you can't be all bad if you are a red sox fan!

Furtive admirer (talk) 19:21, 17 March 2009 (UTC)

I'm putting back everything I've taken out (or am in the process of doing so). Soxwon (talk) 19:22, 17 March 2009 (UTC)
Finished Soxwon (talk) 20:04, 17 March 2009 (UTC)

madoff mug shot[edit]

can we use the DOJ mugshot free and clear for this page? if so, here it is to post:

Furtive admirer (talk) 01:34, 18 March 2009 (UTC)

The Daily Beast Article [2][edit]

A paraphrase from an article by Lucinda Franks in the Daily Beast was added. It is very interesting, but I'll remove the section (and put it below) because it is all from an anonymous employee, with no solid info on who the source is, and I don't think that the Daily Beast is a reliable source, though Franks seems to be a prize winning journalist. The info in the article is new, interesting, quirky, etc, but I question whether it is solid (in several senses, e.g. personal opinions vs. verifiable info, non-attributable vs. attributable, gossip vs. fact)

I'm certain that my removal of this section will be disputed. Can I ask that we leave out the paragraphs until at least 3-4 people have commented below and (if) they reach a consensus to include? Smallbones (talk) 17:36, 21 March 2009 (UTC)

If you read the intial paragraphs of the article, which was linked from reuters, this person is a government witness, which is why his name is presently withheld. It should be in the article, but perhaps in a section of government witnesses.

"Sources in the Madoff investigation confirm the losses that the employee described to me. We sat across from each other at a long black table in the house of an intermediary who arranged the interview. He was nervous, swallowing, hesitating, reluctant to talk. But when we got started, he spoke freely and even eagerly about his strange experiences with the Madoffs."

i am sure the accountant who was just charged will turn state's evidence and become a witness to reduce his sentence.

wait if you want, but not long enough to be archived. i am sure more witnesses will be revealed soon. Furtive admirer (talk) 20:59, 21 March 2009 (UTC)

Reuters actually reprinted it on the Reuters website, which is a plus; but it doesn't say "government witness" only something about "lawsuits." Smallbones (talk) 12:06, 22 March 2009 (UTC)

that the daily beast article will not name him implies he has value for the feds. they don't want tainted testimony. Here is another long-time employee's story. the madoff's were obviously loyal to staff as if they were blood. i guess they expect reciprocity. stories are similar. it is a reprint from yesterday's paid online wsj. Furtive admirer (talk) 03:35, 24 March 2009 (UTC)

This link has now been broadcast as a full segment on CNN's Anderson Cooper. Is that a good enough source for insertion here??

Furtive admirer (talk) 03:35, 24 March 2009 (UTC)

"It was good to work for Bernie"[edit]

"It was good to work for Bernie" was the office motto. A former Madoff employee who designed the computer trading programs and was part of a trading group has disclosed that the business was run by three managers with no knowlege of computer trading, who made between $500,000 and $750,000 per year, and a senior computer programmer who made $350,000. "There wasn't anyone who wasn't paid in the hundreds of thousands. There were twice as many people as were needed and there was rampant inefficiency." Even in years when they grossed $25 to $50 million, the firm barely broke even due to the outlandish spending. All furnishing and decor was obsessively black.

"Shana Madoff , the compliance legal counsel, Peter Madoff's daughter who was married to an SEC compliance officer, worked half-time in the office, and seemed to work on human resources rather than compliance.” he said. Ruth was the firm’s bookkeeper, but worked rarely.

The 17th floor was described as "organized chaos" with obsolete computers and printers. The staff wore jeans. Bernie was always traveling with Ruth, and only in the office about six months per year. Emails of both the legitimate and illegitimate businesses were handled and stored on the 18th floor.

There was a duplicate office in the Bulova building near La Guardia airport, with "fire drills" in the event of a disaster.[1]


Is it really necessary to have 213 footnotes? Soxwon (talk) 16:24, 23 March 2009 (UTC)

No. We need to do some work on that. I've been through the first 65 footnotes, and did some basic cleanup. Entries that were just links have now been cited properly. Some duplicated references have been consolidated. All the broken "ref" tags have been fixed. But much more cleanup is needed. Some references are to the same articles reprinted in different newspapers. Those need to be tied back to the original publisher. There are some links to "Google hosted news"; those links have a life span of only a few links and some are already dead. Some links are to blogs, but reflect quotes from newspapers; those must be cited properly. --John Nagle (talk) 05:15, 24 March 2009 (UTC)
Please help clean up the references, as someone did for Bernard Madoff. I've cleaned up the first 69 references, and there are still 150 or so to go. The page looks awful, with those long URLs on top of other text. Use citation templates, please. --John Nagle (talk) 18:20, 2 April 2009 (UTC)

Annette Bongiorno[edit]

The original reason I took it out was b/c of WP:UNDUE (her salary and her husband's profession, not really relevant to illegal activities). Furtive Admirer then stuck it back in with the justification of:

ann the personal secretary has been given perks to keep her mouth shut. there is an article an eyewitness discusses how everyone was overpaid. besides, you deleted the footnoted source.

The footnote and the source there do not say that explicitly so to include it on those grounds is WP:OR (her husband has a low pay job and yet she has this much money, she must be crooked). Soxwon (talk) 18:05, 25 March 2009 (UTC)

I'm okay with her husband's salary being taken out. But her lifestyle seems quite ntoable and is covered in the article. I agree that it needs to be clarified that someone who worked there made the accusations. But I think the coverage is substantial and the material should be included. In other words a tweak to clarify seems far better to me than removing the content and citation. Thanks for iniating the discussion Sox. ChildofMidnight (talk) 18:14, 25 March 2009 (UTC)

that is my personal opinion, not fact. i didn't write it. reuters thought it was a significant FACT. complain to them.

Furtive admirer (talk) 18:17, 25 March 2009 (UTC)

This is an encyclopedia, not a newspaper. Your inclusion clearly had a motive behind it that constituted WP:SYN. Soxwon (talk) 18:21, 25 March 2009 (UTC

You spend an inordinate amount of time examining me. why not examine annette? bloomberg has, and their news organization thinks her assets are pretty significant to disclose, not filler. you should also.

Furtive admirer (talk) 18:26, 25 March 2009 (UTC)

While I had to undo my edit b/c of 3RR, I still feel that the fact her husband is an electrician, and the fact that she took a honyemoon are unimportant and should be removed. (And for the record I don't spend that much time editing articles you do). Soxwon (talk) 18:32, 25 March 2009 (UTC)

the final edit looks fine. the husband is out. the assets are in and the footnote link to bloomberg explains the rest.

Furtive admirer (talk) 18:36, 25 March 2009 (UTC)

Government nvestigations outside of the US[edit]

Other governments are looking into fraud connected with Madoff as well. I added a link to today's Guardian article, but we really need a full section to cover these. Flatterworld (talk) 05:08, 30 March 2009 (UTC)

rename article[edit]

This article should be called the "Madoff Ponzi Scheme Scandal" (talk) 05:47, 11 April 2009 (UTC)

Thanks for the thought. QueenofBattle (talk) 14:17, 26 May 2009 (UTC)

Securities Investor Protection Corporation aka SIPC[edit]

Where is the mention of the Securities Investor Protection Corporation? Here is what the Wikipedia article says:

SIPC it is not a government agency; rather, it is a membership corporation funded by its members.
SIPC serves two primary roles in the event that a broker-dealer fails. First, SIPC acts to organize the distribution of customer cash and securities to investors. Second, to the extent a customer's cash and/or securities are unavailable, SIPC provides insurance coverage up to $500,000 of the customer's net equity balance, including up to $100,000 in cash.

Over and over, the victims of Madoff or the news media tell us, they lost everything. Not quite. While half a million dollars is not much when the victims thought they had many millions, it is a lot of money to many of us, and there might even be twice that for couples who had separate accounts. I am as outraged as anybody by the failure of the Securities and Exchange Commission to detect the fraud, when many times they were told that something was fishy. Can we have the SIPC material added to this article? --DThomsen8 (talk) 02:19, 25 May 2009 (UTC)

The Madoff page was split. the SIPC is on Recovery of funds from the Madoff investment scandal‎ page. There is a link at the bottom of the main page, Bernard Madoff at "See also:" The reader has to be a detective, unfortunately!
Furtive admirer (talk) 03:36, 25 May 2009 (UTC)
The Securities Investor Protection Corporation aka SIPC is certainly not prominent anywhere in the several articles on this Ponzi scheme. The Recovery of funds from the Madoff investment scandal‎ page does not mention it in the lead paragraph. I have seen one victim on TV who has received his $500,000 check from the SIPC. More information should be here on Wikipedia, but I don't have time to dig at it. Perhaps other editors can help.--DThomsen8 (talk) 13:02, 25 May 2009 (UTC)

Recent cut[edit]

Why this cut[3]? If the sources are accurately reflected, I don't see the harm. --JohnnyB256 (talk) 14:05, 1 June 2009 (UTC)

I was thinking WP:IINFO and He admitted his day of reckoning was inevitable and the poet laureate really don't seem encyclopedic. The other information I'll put back. Soxwon (talk) 14:09, 1 June 2009 (UTC)
I guess you're right on the poet laureate. But as for day of reckoning, I am not so sure. He did admit that, and it seems an important point that belongs in the article. On another subject, why is this a "mid importance" crime article? This has to be the biggest economic crime of our era. I'm going to take the liberty of changing to high Top. --JohnnyB256 (talk) 14:13, 1 June 2009 (UTC)


I don't know, it seemed like the lede was trying to cover too much ground, I trimmed it down to the bare essentials. Thoughts? Soxwon (talk) 05:33, 10 June 2009 (UTC)

Sorry, but I don't understand this change[4], as it actually made the lead paragraph longer. I assume that is the edit you are referring to. The previous version is preferable, as well as briefer. --JohnnyB256 (talk) 15:02, 10 June 2009 (UTC)
you're joking right? Did you notice the second paragraph is about a fourth of what it was before... Soxwon (talk) 19:40, 10 June 2009 (UTC)
Yes, you're right. I was referring to the first or "lead" paragraph, but I see you meant the lead section. It is definitely shorter, but I think the previous first paragraph summarized the issues better, even though the second paragraph was a mess and you fixed it very well. --JohnnyB256 (talk) 00:35, 11 June 2009 (UTC)

Links are a mess again[edit]

The references are a mess again. Please, use citation templates, and use ref IDs for duplicate links. We have bare URLs stretching across two columns and on top of other text. The links are becoming unreadable. In an article with this many links, formatting matters. --John Nagle (talk) 07:03, 16 June 2009 (UTC)

We had this cleaned up, but people got sloppy again. There are many long URLs without proper templates. I changed the reflist back to single-column format to avoid text on top of text. Please help clean up the reflist. Thanks. --John Nagle (talk) 04:33, 18 August 2009 (UTC)

William Foxton[edit]

Rendering error in citation.--Anna Frodesiak (talk) 06:16, 28 June 2009 (UTC)

Sorry, I should be clearer: In William Foxton subsection there is a rendering error. Please someone fix it. I cannot due to an unusually small cranial volume, (a disorder synonymous with village idiocy).--Anna Frodesiak (talk) 06:21, 28 June 2009 (UTC)

Fixed. Ecphora (talk) 12:51, 28 June 2009 (UTC)

Date of sentencing[edit]

This is variously said to be on 16/6/2009 and 29/6/2009. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:49, 29 June 2009 (UTC) Actual sentencing time seems to be 10 a.m., local time, on 29/6/2009. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:33, 29 June 2009 (UTC)

'Current' template[edit]

Ive removed, per current template documentation and a discussion of a similar situation on my take page[5]. Evidently this template is only used in situations in which swarms of editors are editing an article, but that does not seem to be the case here anymore. --JohnnyB256 (talk) 16:44, 2 July 2009 (UTC)

Allegations the sons knew about the fraud[edit]

Regarding the statement that Madoff was arrested by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) on December 11, 2008, on a criminal charge of securities fraud, and that the previous day, he had told his sons that his business was "a giant Ponzi scheme" please see for purposes of information and discussion the entries dated July 24-26 in the Talk page of the Wikipedia article on Bernard Madoff "Allegations the sons knew about the fraud". Stefanson (talk) 18:14, 26 July 2009 (UTC)

Further details about who else was involved should be available shortly. See Madoff Aide Holds Key to People Involved in Scam. DePascali was arrested, pled guilty, and is talking to prosecutors to get his sentence reduced. --John Nagle (talk) 16:40, 14 August 2009 (UTC)

DiPascali going down[edit]

"Ex-Madoff CFO DiPascali to Be Charged, Plead Guilty, U.S. Says" [6]. He apparently cut a plea deal and will talk. More information on Monday after the arraignment. Expect more activity on this story. --John Nagle (talk) 18:44, 8 August 2009 (UTC)

Now we know how the scam worked. The statement to which DiPascali pled guilty [7] has detailed information about the mechanics of the scam. Definitely worth a read.
DiPascali was in charge of the forgery operation which created phony statements and trades. The key to this was the fact that there's enough volatility in the market that, with perfect historical information, one can construct a pattern of trades which would, had they been actually executed, produce the yields indicated. Adjusting the phony trade dates by just a few days, and using prices within the trading range for the best days, was sufficient to make the numbers appear to work. Madoff's operation generated transaction confirmations for the fake trades and sent them to clients. The statements thus looked reasonable.
Towards the end, as the cash ran out, they just started stealing without being subtle about it. But for at least 25 years, quite plausible statements came out. That's why almost nobody suspected. --John Nagle (talk) 19:27, 12 August 2009 (UTC)
Wow! Heck of a document. Like you said "Definitely worth a read." --Anna Frodesiak (talk) 04:59, 14 August 2009 (UTC)

Need help with link cleanup[edit]

This article needs help with link cleanup. Please try to convert plain links to citation templates, and use link names to eliminate duplicates. I had to convert the reflist back to one-column format because all the long URLs were rendering as text on top of text. (Wikipedia's multi-column reflist thing has the usual CSS problems with multi-column tables. We can switch back after link cleanup.) Try to use links that aren't behind a paywall. Use Webcitation when necessary.

We may also be able to remove some of the earlier, more speculative references as hard information comes in from confessions, legal documents, and audits. --John Nagle (talk) 16:57, 19 August 2009 (UTC)

"Less than half of Madoff investors lost money" - not[edit]

We have a new addition to the article saying that "less than half of Madoff investors lost money". That's from the New York Daily News, though; they're a tabloid and not big on financial details. The financial press has a more detailed analysis. That number includes only direct Madoff customers, not the ones who bought in through "feeder funds". The "feeder funds" are being counted as one Madoff investor each, but each one represents some number of smaller investors. Bloomberg reports that 60 of the 83 feeder funds invested in Madoff have put in claims. [8]. The top 10 Madoff investors were all funds of one kind or another. Those 10 clients alone claim $20 billion in losses. [9] Give this a few days; I expect more published analysis as the business press crunches the data. --John Nagle (talk) 07:54, 24 September 2009 (UTC)

Size of fraud[edit]

More information about the size of the fraud is now coming in from the chief counsel for the Madoff trustee: "Asked how much real money went into the whole scheme, Sheehan told Safer, "I'd say about $36 billion. And about 18 of it went out before the collapse. And 18 of it is just missing. And that $18 billion is what we're trying to get back.".[10]. That article is a good read. The trustee's office is going after Madoff's wife, Madoff's sons, and some of Madoff's customers, especially Jeffry Picower ("in terms of the monies that he took out, but the records with regard to the relationship, the manipulation and backdating of trades, he had to know, or someone knew it was false") and Stanley Chais. --John Nagle (talk) 03:29, 28 September 2009 (UTC)

Picower dead[edit]

Jeffry Picower was just found dead at the bottom of his Palm Beach swimming pool. Unknown yet whether this was murder, suicide, or accident.[11] --John Nagle (talk) 21:20, 25 October 2009 (UTC)


Some yachts have been sold for £1.2 million, but this will not go far. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:57, 19 November 2009 (UTC)

Fraud in layman's terms[edit]

This fraud is detailed and sophisticated. Many reader would like to understand the scheme in more layman's terms. For example, Charles Ponzi article explained the fraud to any reader. My 2 cents... All4peace (talk) 14:39, 26 February 2011 (UTC)

Actually, the fraud was really simple - it was a straight Ponzi scheme. Money coming in went to pay fake returns. The complexity was all in the sales pitch and the marketing for the scam. --John Nagle (talk) 17:00, 8 June 2011 (UTC)

Other victims[edit]

Stonybrook and the Simons Foundation seem to have lost about $5,000,000 each to Madoff. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:30, 29 March 2011 (UTC)

See James Harris Simons. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:09, 30 March 2011 (UTC)

"Bernie Madoff scandal"[edit]

This seems to be missing a redirect from Bernie Madoff scandal. (talk) 18:47, 14 April 2011 (UTC)

Real but inactive?[edit]

"he hadn't actually traded since the mid-1990s"

"Madoff's brokerage operation was very real"

Please explain how the brokerage operation is real if it doesn't broker?--Wp500 (talk) 18:41, 2 June 2011 (UTC)

Called by the Market Oracle?[edit]

Not really. The author is Mike Shedlock writing at the Market Oracle, which is not the same.

I think it should be corrected to "called by Mike Shedlock"

Gatorinvancouver (talk) 17:09, 3 June 2011 (UTC)

This needs to be corrected. I pointed it out on the Discussion page to be polite.

Gatorinvancouver (talk) 17:59, 7 June 2011 (UTC)

Link to Red Flags section in the Purported Strategy section does not work[edit]

I tried to fix it but can't get it. (I don't know why; I've never had a problem linking to another part of Wikipedia before.) Maybe somebody else could fix this?

Thank you Gatorinvancouver (talk) 17:11, 5 June 2011 (UTC)

This is misleading[edit]

"The sale of the 'calls' is designed to increase the rate of return, while allowing upward movement of the stock portfolio to the strike price of the 'calls'. The 'puts', funded in large part by the sales of the 'calls', limit the portfolio's downside."

And I corrected it - perhaps somewhere else - (the article and associated entries, suffer from a lot of fragmentation IMO).

I even put in a link to the Investopedia. Again, maybe somewhere else.

In any case, as it stands it is wrong and / or incomplete.

Check out "collar" at the Investopedia:

Gatorinvancouver (talk) 20:46, 5 June 2011 (UTC)

The quote you are referring to is not cited, although it may well have been part of Madoff's sales pitch. thing is pretty clear: his pitch was what are you objecting to? If we are quoting what he said, and he is known to have misled people...isn't that the point?  Frank  |  talk  20:51, 5 June 2011 (UTC)

I'm not sure I fully understand what you are saying.

I am suggesting however that a careful analysis of the definition of a collar and the present wording in WP is not compatible.

I haven't got the time, or inclination (hey I'm almost 70) at this stage in my life to prove what anybody can see for themselves.

All the best and the article is too long anyway.

Maybe you could devote your considerable talents to reformulating the actual entry?

That would be great, I'm sure.

Following Frank's deletion of my edit the present version of Purported Strategy reads as follows:

"The sale of the 'calls' is designed to increase the rate of return, while allowing upward movement of the stock portfolio to the strike price of the 'calls'. The 'puts', funded in large part by the sales of the 'calls', limit the portfolio's downside.""

"allowing upward movement of the stock portfolio to the strike price of the 'calls'."

As it stands this is total nonsense.

Furthermore, why mention the limit of the downside and not mention the limit to the potential gains? At best, this is incomplete, at worst it is wrong.

Moreover, why eliminate the relevant comment (relevant with respect to the alleged strategy) by Markopolos about the impossibility simply because there is a section called Red Flags where Markopolos' role is treated in more detail? I suggest, to analyse the "strategy" it IS relevant to quote Markopolos as saying that there weren't enough options around.

Why then not eliminate the section completely since we all know by now that Madoff was a fraud and liar? ( I am only half facetious.)

I repeat:

As it stands the section Purported Strategy is, at best, incomplete and at worst meaningless and/or wrong.

Personally, I do not wish to edit anymore just to have it deleted without the courtesy of a discussion first. Gatorinvancouver (talk) 17:57, 7 June 2011 (UTC)

If what you are trying to edit is also contained in the source(s) cited, that is one thing. If you are expressing your own opinion, that is another. And if you are repeating content that exists elsewhere in the article, that is also another thing. We need to be able to WP:CITE information from reliable sources. These are pillars of how Wikipedia works; a discussion beforehand is not necessary.  Frank  |  talk  01:31, 8 June 2011 (UTC)

Tangled Webs won a Pulitzer Prize. Is that reliable enough as a source?

With all due respect, as somebody editing financial articles you seem to know very little about the markets.

""allowing upward movement of the stock portfolio to the strike price of the 'calls'."

The alleged portfolio contained both OEX (later Madoff claimed he used a "basket of equities" as proxies) The OEX and the Calls have their own dynamic, with the latter losing its time premium steadily. "Allowing upward movement of the stock portfolio" is nonsense as it includes Calls, Puts the OEX and/or the "basket of equities".

I know it because I have been trading for decades and decades ago I obtained the necessary qualifications to be an independent market maker in options (though I have never worked as such) at the Montreal Exchange.

Do I also need a reliable reference to assert that there is a sunset at the end of the day or is my life experience ("original research") good enough?

The reference to the Investopedia, which you eliminated made clear the fact that the strategy would also limit gains and could also lead to losses. Hence the name "collar".

Do you find that irrelevant?

Do you think Investopedia is not a reliable source? (I suggest, if so you haven't done much reading there.)

Why do you think it is relevant to cite the possible gains and not the possible losses, or at least the limitation of gains?

Gatorinvancouver (talk) 15:47, 8 June 2011 (UTC)

I suggest you read and understand WP:CITE. This isn't about my personal opinion about a source or about you; it is about how Wikipedia works. Your own personal qualifications regarding how options work are, in fact, not relevant to writing the article, except to the extent that they help you understand and reference the source material accurately. On the other hand, if you are saying "Investopedia says X and therefore what Madoff said was bogus and I am qualified to draw that conclusion", that is original research and is not appropriate for a Wikipedia article.
I am not suggesting you are wrong, nor am I trying to distort this (or any) article. What I am trying to do is have it conform to our policies - nothing more, nothing less. If a source doesn't say it, and it's not clear to a reader, then it needs to be changed or removed.
If you find a section as it is currently written to be misleading, I encourage you to propose (or add) text which is neither misleading NOR unreferenced.  Frank  |  talk  17:50, 8 June 2011 (UTC)

"a discussion beforehand is not necessary"

Even when you distort the article?

Gatorinvancouver (talk) 15:49, 8 June 2011 (UTC)

For an analysis of the purported strategy, see the Markopolis 2005 filing with the SEC, "The World's Largest Hedge Fund is a Fraud".[12], page 5, item 7. There, Markopolis, who actually understands the subject and reported the problem to the SEC years in advance of the collapse, describes the purported strategy, and why it couldn't possibly generate the claimed returns. Try to work with that source. --John Nagle (talk) 16:52, 8 June 2011 (UTC)


"On the other hand, if you are saying "Investopedia says X and therefore what Madoff said was bogus and I am qualified to draw that conclusion", that is original research and is not appropriate for a Wikipedia article."

Analysis is original research? To draw conclusions is not analysis?

And I did not say:

""Investopedia says X and therefore what Madoff said was bogus and I am qualified to draw that conclusion"

I linked to Investiopedia so that people can see a DEFINITION of collar. Anybody with the capacity to reason can therefore conclude that Madoff was lying, something we by NOW know and knowledgeable people should have known (and some probably did). — Preceding unsigned comment added by Gatorinvancouver (talkcontribs) 19:26, 8 June 2011 (UTC)

I give up.

But why do you KEEP ignoring my point about the section - in its present form - being wrong and/or misleading?

John Nagle:

I am aware of the article you mentioned and it (and the process at the SEC) is analysed in great detail in Tangled Webs. Quoting Markopolos (even though he is treated at great detail in the section Red Flags) in this section was to show that the claimed strategy was impossible. And indeed Madoff changed his story during the investigation claiming that he stopped using options.

Gatorinvancouver (talk) 19:13, 8 June 2011 (UTC)

You wrote yourself above: I know it because I have been trading for decades and decades ago I obtained the necessary qualifications to be an independent market maker in options (though I have never worked as such) at the Montreal Exchange. Using that as justification for an edit is essentially original research. You furthermore wrote anybody with the capacity to reason can therefore conclude that Madoff was lying... - which may or may not be true, but is beside the point. We are NOT here to analyze. We are NOT here to provide original research. We are here to report what is written elsewhere in reliable sources with a neutral point of view.  Frank  |  talk  00:07, 9 June 2011 (UTC)

You are grossly distorting what I said. I mentioned this after you had first insisted on deleting it because it was treated at length further on in the article. As a matter of fact you did this right in the section where I asked for help with an internal link. How constructive is that? Then you went on about "original research" that all so curious criterion of WP: Any first year's college term paper is "original research" cutting and pasting "respectable sources". Anyway, I digress. You have the last word in the edit of this article (for the time being). Happy? If so, it still is not accurate and since you deleted the parts I wrote (and linked to) to explain "the purported strategy" in more detail, is it not WP etiquette to rewrite a correct version of the article? I'm kind of curious about your answer but I'm kind of getting a bit tired of what I conceive to be going in circles leading to Godot's Nowhere/Nobody. So have fun. I still think WP is one of the best things ever invented and will continue to support it. But maybe, editing here is not my cup of tea. Love and Peace (told y'a I was almost 70).Gatorinvancouver (talk) 01:24, 9 June 2011 (UTC)

     "We are here to report what is written elsewhere in reliable sources with a neutral point  of view."

If you only did Frank, if you only did.Gatorinvancouver (talk) 01:36, 9 June 2011 (UTC)

It is not distortion - gross or otherwise - to quote your own words. You are welcome to continue editing - whether or not you do so is your own choice - but keep in mind that this is a collaborative project. There's no harm - and, indeed, great benefit - in finding out how things work before (or even while) trying to make contributions.
Please understand - I am not disputing what you're saying with regard to his strategy, nor am I saying the article is perfect as it is. However, please do keep in mind that wikipedia is about verifiability, not truth. This is an important concept.
Finally, regarding your seemingly attacking comment at the end ("if you only did Frank, if you only did"), I invite you to show me where I've missed the mark on that concept. I'm not perfect, any more than the next editor...if there is work to be cleaned up, let me know.  Frank  |  talk  02:12, 9 June 2011 (UTC)

You "missed the mark" dear Frank when you didn't replace what you broke.

And in my ears you are sounding a lot like a bureaucrat obsessed with form ( I'm not saying this is not important) and short of substance.

So please, dear Frank, do rewrite the paragraph you deleted.

That's what I'm suggesting.

Please do read the above comments again objectively.

Regards.Gatorinvancouver (talk) 02:54, 9 June 2011 (UTC)

Our interpretations differ. When I removed your edits, I did not break anything but rather followed established policy. It is not incumbent upon me to fix what you "broke", to use your wording. I rather think of it as collaboration, rather than "break" and "fix", but that may be semantics. The bottom line is that if you put content in that doesn't meet guidelines - even if the previous content is, as you say, inaccurate, it is not up to me to both remove your edit and fix the perceived problem.  Frank  |  talk  03:25, 9 June 2011 (UTC)

I only said I'm suggesting. Gee. P.S. You still don't mind the inaccuracy of the article as it presently is, which I have clearly demonstrated several times, do you? Gatorinvancouver (talk) 03:34, 9 June 2011 (UTC)

Failure to make something perfect does not automatically indicate agreement with its current content. I don't "own" this article; neither does anyone. Again - this is a collaborative effort. If you feel it is inaccurate, please feel free to improve it with citations from reliable sources.  Frank  |  talk  03:39, 9 June 2011 (UTC)

You were wrong about my edit as far as I can tell: Gatorinvancouver (talk) 03:47, 9 June 2011 (UTC) And please do tell Frank: Why do you continue to give instructions instead of actually writing something people visiting the WP will read? (It won't be the discussion pages they want to read unless they are people who want to edit the article, or "boss" others around.) Gatorinvancouver (talk) 03:50, 9 June 2011 (UTC)

You are free to view my contribution history to find out what I've been up to lately. I have no control over what people will read, and therefore essentially avoid any thought about that. I focus instead on improving the encyclopedia; realistically speaking, I do stick to topics that are of interest to me, but I make no claim as to whether or not others will read it.  Frank  |  talk  04:01, 9 June 2011 (UTC)

Jewish affinity fraud / Religion in Maddof's box.[edit]

I'm just a lowly IP, but having Maddof's religion and '(Jewish) affinity fraud' in the box at the top troubles me. I'm not saying that it is an unreasonable thing to have, as quite a few sources in the article have indicated that Madoff did use his his 'Jewishness' and general ties in the Jewish community to raise money. That, by itself, makes it very useful to have the 'affinity fraud' portion of the box, although it might not be as necessary to identify exactly whom was being targeted. Consequently, further identifying Maddof's religion as Judaism makes sense, since it explains why he targeted the Jewish community in particular.

However, I am worried that without a greater amount of context in the box, someone reading the article would see those two items at the top and from that conclude that this is a anti-Semitic article. The reason for this is that the term 'affinity fraud' is not well known and someone reading this might conclude that the box is simply 'blaming Jews/Judaism' for fraud. That's particularly true because of the addition of Maddof's religion, which seems a bit unnecessary to highlight in the box like that. So essentially, I'd just like for a bit more clarification in the box, so that someone reading it wouldn't come to the wrong impressions or, at least, to have Maddof's religion not be highlighted there.

Having said that, I do realize that it isn't too hard for people to simply Ctrl+f 'Jew' in the article or simply click the link on affinity fraud to realize and understand exactly why those terms are there. A such, I'll leave it up to some other editor to conclude whether these concerns are reasonable or not. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:42, 5 November 2015 (UTC)

I've removed the "(Jewish) Affinity fraud" from the infobox. He is known for the Ponzi scheme - 1st, last, and always. Any affinity fraud was just a part of the Ponzi scheme. Frankly, I'm skeptical that the term "affinity fraud" applies to most Ponzi schemes. Ultimately the Ponzi scheme has to take money from whomever has it - from anybody - no discrimination here. Of course the easiest money to take is from whomever it knows best first, from its closest contacts, so we can say it "looks like" an affinity fraud. Smallbones(smalltalk) 16:16, 5 November 2015 (UTC)
Thanks @Smallbones. Might I suggest removing his religion from the box as well then? It serves no role whatsoever if the affinity fraud is removed from the box and could potentially be misconstrued as anti-Semitic; any interested reader can find out he's Jewish at the relevant portion of the article where the issue comes up. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:56, 5 November 2015 (UTC)

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What happened to the Madoff Investment Securities (MADF) accounts and clients? Who took them over?[edit]

What happened to the Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities (MADF) accounts and clients? Normally, some institution comes in and takes these over. Which investment house got them? Did they pay anything for them? (they would have been worth something). If so, how much? Did very many, if any, of the brokers or other employees make the transition as well? Thanks in advance to anybody who knows. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Betathetapi545 (talkcontribs) 14:02, 28 June 2017 (UTC)

Call it Wall Street Journal culpability? Or media support of Madoff?[edit]

Not sure how to describe this aspect of the topic, but I think the article should consider how the financial press helped Madoff get away with his scam for so many years. Perhaps there should be a single list of Madoff's media appearances over the years? The one that just came to my attention was actually a secondhand citation in the book "Panic" by Michael Lewis, where on page 190 we have the appearance of "a market veteran, Bernard L. Madoff" in a reprint of a WSJ article (or editorial?) from 24 February 1999. (Amusingly enough, Madoff is explaining why dot com stocks are too risky for him.) I'm sure that such press coverage had been exceedingly helpful to Madoff in getting more suckers for his Ponzi scheme. In defense of Michael Lewis, let me note that his book was published just after the scandal had been exposed. I had actually come to Wikipedia today to check those dates, but I guess the publication process was too far along to pull the Wall Street Journal interview at that point. Still, the larger point is that Madoff was NOT invisible in 1999, even if his scam remained hidden until 2008. Shanen (talk) 01:39, 21 July 2017 (UTC) story


There are articles[2] indicating that Edward O. Thorp figured out that Madoff was a fraud in 1991. Should this be in the article? Gah4 (talk) 01:23, 29 November 2017 (UTC)