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The Mails Are Alive With the Jewels of Madoff

…Madison Avenue headquarters of CIRCA, a jewelry-buying firm, where Madoff-related jewels had been incoming all month, like expensive shrapnel. “When Madoff hit, then we started to get the calls,” the…



The Winning Definition of "Madoff," in Limerick Form

We’ve invited a special guest to judge our Bernie Madoff limerick contest: Chris J. Strolin, founder and editor-in-chief of The OEDILF, The Omnificent English Dictionary In Limerick Form. The OEDILF…



The Madoff Tax Advantage

I just received the following e-mail from my accountants, who have several clients invested with Bernard Madoff. They are passing along some year-end tax advice that contains at least a…




A Career Option for Bernie Madoff?

Bernard L. Madoff is not a young man, and if he is convicted of the crimes of which he stands accused, he may spend the rest of his life in…




Thank God It Was $65 Billion

Madoff investors was orders of magnitude greater than the amount transferred to Madoff and his henchmen. This means, from a social perspective, that the Madoff scheme was a huge transfer…



Is the S.E.C. More or Less Scary Today?

I dare you to read this Times report of the S.E.C.’s “investigations” of Bernie Madoff over the years and not gasp in amazement at the agency’s ineptitude. If the S.E.C….




Episode 50

The Truth Is Out There…Isn’t It?

There’s a nasty secret about hot-button topics like global warming — knowledge is not always power.


Aptonyms for the New Year

…named Michael Dorr writes in to say: “Surely, Bernie Madoff has the greatest aptonym in the history of aptonyms. It’s as if he was predestined to perpetrate this very crime.”…



Profits of Doom

| Bernie Madoff pleaded guilty to securities fraud today. His scheme saved some lives, briefly, then ruined them utterly. Supermodel Carmen Dell’Orefice, for example … [%comments]…



The Great Giveback

…Santander has decided to compensate private clients whose money Santander invested with Bernard L. Madoff. Discounts are one thing; every consumer these days has come to expect a discount. But…



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Episode 24

Behavior Change (Ultra Egghead Edition): TMSIDK Episode 24

…are perfectly comfortable investing in exactly that (Option C, which effectively describes Bernie Madoff‘s ponzi scheme). Most people also admit that Option C is impossible. So what’s happening? Harvard Business…

Pay-If-You-Go Prisons?

Inspired by Bernie Madoff‘s 150-year prison sentence, New York state assemblyman Jim Tedisco introduced a bill that, as the Economist reports, would establish a “pay-if-you-go” model for prisons, whereby wealthy…



Aaron Swartz Versus the Bankers

…to free knowledge and expand the public domain. In contrast, the bankers took from the public domain. Not one banker has gone to jail, except Bernie Madoff — whose crime,…



What's the Point of an Apology?

…individuals), including Wall Street to American citizens and Bernard Madoff to the people he allegedly swindled (rather than just his co-op neighbors). But aside from emotional reparations, what’s the point…




The Cost of Fearing Strangers

…to insist that it fear your friends and family instead — unless, of course, you are friends with someone like Bernie Madoff. Don’t forget that the greatest financial fraud in…



There Once Was a Fund Guy Named Bernie …

…they made. So begins his voracious onslaught. A piece of Freakonomics schwag goes to the reader who submits the best definition for Bernie Madoff to the Omnificent English Dictionary In…



Is Driving Drunk Rational?

…it probably doesn’t come as a surprise that criminals suffer from “bounded rationality,” and with possible rare exception of a Bernie Madoff or a Unabomber probably lack the mathematical acumen…



Putting the Queen in Homecoming Queen

Reputations are powerful, vulnerable, fragile things. Sometimes they shift overnight (think Bernie Madoff); often they are decades in the making. I’ve always been interested in the reputations of institutions, especially…



A Lottery for People Who Are Good at Math

As investment schemes, state lotteries are about as sound as a Bernard Madoff venture. But at least one lottery might be worth it — if you do the math. When…



CNBC on the “Scam of the Century”

CNBC delves into the Bernie Madoff story tonight at 9 p.m. E.S.T. For those intrigued by white-collar crime, this should be quite an interesting show. I’m still struggling to understand…





Is This the Secret for Fund-Raising in a Recession?

…It’s hardly just the foundations who were invested with Bernie Madoff; donors simply have fewer discretionary dollars. (And, long-term, the picture may get bleaker if President Obama downsizes the charity…