Bernie Madoff’s Favor for an Old Friend

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Photo: NYT

Earlier today we suggested that Bernie Madoff wasn't so much devious as he was wildly narcissistic. But we'd missed an anecdote at the end of today's Times write-around on Ruth Madoff, Bernie's dear wife, that indicates otherwise. A few years ago, an old paramour of Ruth's from high school, Donny Rosenzweig, called the Madoff home to ask about getting into the fund. Bernie turned him down, saying it was full, then put Ruth on the phone. The pair reminisced about old times — Ruth was known in school as "a poised and chatty blonde with an updo and a winning smile" — then Bernie asked to speak to Don again.

“And he got back on the phone and said, ‘Look, Donny, we go back a long way, I’ll get you into the fund.’ ”

He told Mr. Rosenzweig that the minimum investment was $2 million. That was more than Mr. Rosenzweig had, so he asked family members to pitch in. Ultimately, his mother, brother, sister, sister-in-law and brother-in-law and an 83-year-old uncle all contributed.

Wow. He must have been simmering when listening to that chatty phone call. There's a lesson here, folks, one that applies to us all: Never invest with your ex's husband, even if it has been sixty years.

Madoffs Shared Much; Question Is How Much [NYT]