Mark Madoff Suicide Leaves Unanswered Questions

Mark Madoff was found dangling from a black dog leash in his Manhattan apartment living room, while his 2-year-old son was found asleep in an adjoining bedroom. The 46 year old son of a thief, in his final act of cowardice. emailed his wife, in Florida with their older child.

What a delightful family this is.

Two Years Ago, when the Madoff arrest first exploded, the story smelled funny. How could a 70 year old run a $50 billion Ponzi scheme by his lonesome?

According to the trustee recovering assets for Madoff’s “investors,” Mark Madoff, director of listed trading for his fathers brokerage firm (technically separate from the Ponzi investors) was paid $29.3 million from 2001 to 2008. Not only that, the trustee claims he improperly grabbed another $66.8 million for himself, his family and entities on his behalf. And in case that wasn’t enough, Mark Madoff was also accused of falsifying transactions to withdraw $18.1 million from his account by the trustee.

If those numbers are accurate, it raises a question: What was Mark Madoff doing that was worth $16,314,286 dollars per year over that seven year period? It is hard for me to fathom that anything associated with that firm could have led to that sort of annual compensation — at least, in a traditional compensation structure.

Was this merely deserved compensation for a job done well? An example of the family;s generosity to its own? Hush money?

I have no idea.

If the trusteee’s allegations of compensation are true, it sure seems like an awfully big comp package. The specifics of his compensation structure as an employee of his father’s firm strongly imply that the apple does not fall far from the tree — i.e., that even if he wasn’t a thief, like his old man, the deceased certainly was not ashamed to grab a huge pile of cash, deserved or not.

I have not delved to deeply into this sordid mess for some time, as everything associated with this clan is nauseating. Today’s announcement simply was the last straw.

One would imagine that any innocent person, with 2 children in this marriage (more from a previous one), would want to clear their name, if only for the sake of their innocent kids. Apparently not . . .

Category: Legal

Yves Smith on Harry Shearer’s Le Show

Category: Derivatives, Legal, Video

The Beatnix: Stairway To Heaven

Category: Music, Weekend

Asness on Mixing Value with Momentum

The AQR founder and manager on AQR Global Equity’s process and the difficulty of momentum investing through the downturn.

By Kathryn Young| 6-24-2010 12:55 PM

Category: Hedge Funds, Technical Analysis, Video

When Robosigners Attack!

Sometimes, the best defense is a good offense. That seems to be the approach that notorious robo-signing firm Nationwide Title Clearing has taken in responding to some of its critics. If you are unfamiliar with their name, you might recall earlier this Fall when depositions of several Nationwide robo-signers employees went viral on YouTube (We…Read More

Category: Foreclosures, Legal, Really, really bad calls

How to Make a Rockwell

Fascinating slide show over at the NYT about the Brooklyn Museum show, “Norman Rockwell: Behind the Camera.” It reveals how some of Rockwell — using a combination of photography and his own artistic vision — created some of his best known, seminal works. Photo + Photo + Artistic Creativity = Art (Magazine Cover) click for…Read More

Category: Weekend

Friday Nite Jazz: Rickie Lee Jones


I went to a delightfully quirky pop/jazz  show last night — Rickie Lee Jones at Westbury, NYCB Theatre (12/09/10).

I say quirky because of The Duchess of Coolsville’s music is genre bending — bluesy, boozey, laid back, smokey, jazz pop songs of great beauty and delicacy, held improbably together by that distinctively different voice of hers. She sports a vocal range that careens from 10 year old girl to scat impresario to deep, powerful blues singer.

Jones has had a surprising run of hit singles, despite her eclectic jazz style. 1979′s “Chuck E.’s in Love,” hit #4 on the Billboard charts (Young Blood” was the other single from the first album, Rickie Lee Jones); Her next album, Pirates spawned 3 hit singles: “A Lucky Guy,” “Pirates (So Long Lonely Avenue),” and “Woody and Dutch on the Slow Train to Peking.” Later singles include “The Real End” (1984), “Satellites” (1989), and “Old Enough” (2009)

Her music is lovely and complex, and they were performed loosely by a 7 piece ensemble. At the show I went to, Jones got her best known pop tune, Chuck E’s in Love, out of the way quickly, playing it first, then settled down to an evening of outstanding (albeit somewhat sedate) music. Alternating between an acoustic guitar and a grand piano, she proceeded to play the best of her first two albums (Rickie Lee Jones, and Pirates) practically in sequence.

If you like female jazz vocalists flavored with a dollop of pop, these first two discs are gems. I own nearly RLJ’s full catalog. I was pleasantly surprised by her most recent outing, Balm in Gilead.

Last night, I recall hearing: Chuck E’s In Love, On Saturday Afternoons In 1963,  Night Train, Young Blood, Easy Money, The Last Chance Texaco, Danny’s All-Star Joint, Coolsville, Weasel And The White Boys Cool, Company, After Hours, We Belong Together, Living It Up, Skeletons, Woody and Dutch on the Slow Train to Peking, Pirates (so long lonely avenue), A Lucky Guy, Traces of the Western Slopes, The Returns.

I would love to get the actual concert set list . . .


See also:
The official Rickie Lee Jones Website



Videos – including a few from last night’s show — are after the jump

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Category: Friday Night Jazz, Music

No, James Altucher is Not a Douchebag . . .


“It’s Paid to Be Bullish”: James Altucher Demands Apology from Mish, Roubini
Aaron Task Dec 10, 2010”it’s-paid-to-be-bullish”-james-altucher-demands-apology-from-mish-roubini-535705.html

Category: Video

Succinct Summation of Week’s Events (12/10/10)

Positives: 1) Tax deal compromise in DC 2) Lower than expected Trade Deficit will lift Q4 GDP estimates 3) Initial Jobless Claims 4 week average falls to lowest since Aug ’08 4) UoM consumer confidence rises to best since June 5) China bank loans and import/export figures above forecasts and hikes RR to cool lending…Read More

Category: Markets

Yes alot of cash but look at the debt too

As evidenced by the front page of today’s WSJ, a big bull case for the economy and also for stocks is all the cash on company balance sheets. We hear it all the time. But, in order to fairly analyze this argument one must look at the entire balance sheet, not just the asset side…Read More

Category: MacroNotes