Thursday, January 08, 2009
Weekend at Bernie's
Work-weeks for the self-employed routinely stretch into seventy and even eighty-hour marathons, as Robert's continue to do these days; accordingly, he tries to ingest a decent amount of protein and vegetables, even at lunchtime, and had just bitten into his grilled chicken breast sandwich with pesto--he's the chef in these parts, not I--when news of Bernie Madoff's latest bit of sociopathic effrontery hit the airwaves.
Robert didn't choke, but I nearly did, and I wasn't even eating. And there they were, the braced-and-bespectacled CNBC crew, nattering away and wondering out loud how someone could possibly be so arrogant and unaware.
"Why are these Wall Street groupies even trying to make sense of this criminal?" I asked, resisting the strong urge to teevee-scream Take the beam out of your own motherfucking eyes first, O Masters of The Universe!
No More Teevee-screaming is my New Year's resolution. Swear.
Instead, I grumbled. "Arrogant? Aware? He's a bloody sociopath--he has no conscience."
"Maybe they feel they have to say something in order to sound smart?" Dear Husband offered.
Hey, it's bad enough that after being caught defrauding all those people, companies, and charities to the tune of many billions, Madoff packed up a million dollars or so worth of watches and jewelry and smuggled them off to the kids, claiming the items have "sentimental value". (It should be easy enough for prosecutors to debunk that one: sociopaths don't have sentiments, you see.) Now we learn he was planning to spirit away some $173 million dollars, too, confirmed by a load of signed checks investigators found during a search of his desk. And this despite being ordered to not dispose of any assets whatsoever, since said assets will, eventually, be used to partially (!) repay at least some investors.
Suffice it to say, I don't think slapping a bit of ankle jewelry on Madoff and sending him upstairs to his Manhattan penthouse is anything close to the sort of lifestyle change he really deserves to undergo right about now.
So, I propose this: until his trial date, let Madoff live off the street--for real. Strip the man down to his Sulka briefs, give him some beaten-up sneakers and an old sweatsuit from the Salvation Army--hell, the pants don't even have to match the hoodie--and point him toward the nearest Dumpster full of cardboard boxes. We got yer penthouse right here, Mister!
It's Weekend at Bernie's! All weekend, every weekend. And weekdays too--why not? Open the ultra-luxurious Madoff house to families who've been thrown out onto the streets when their banks foreclosed on their properties. One family per long weekend, I say, and give them access to the Madoff SubZero(s) and the Madoff wine cellar. Let the kids get warm--finally!--in his 1,000-thread-count Pratesi sheets and cashmere blankets and remind the parents to grab a vicuña coat or two when they head out the door and hand the keys to the next homeless family.
As for Madoff being out and about, ah, flight risk, schmight risk. I don't think he'll get too far.
Posted by Deborah Newell at 4:02 PM