Bernie Madoff knows how to keep a secret. But since the last one he kept — that would be the largest Ponzi scheme in history he was operating — landed him 150 years in prison, he's ready to tell the press practically everything now. In an interview with the Financial Times, Madoff discusses his guilt:
"I spend a lot of time thinking about it — it is almost like a blank to me now. I try to piece it together; why didn’t I say, ‘I cannot do it?’ Why didn’t I return the money to those four or five clients — and the others — and say, ‘I can’t do it.’ Why?”
He also casually considers the delusion that he might still be "one of the greatest money managers in modern history," if lawyer Irving Picard recovers $50 billion for Madoff's victims. But let's get to the news here:
"He says he gets lots of mail from well-wishers, but no hate mail. 'I spend most of my time in my room, reading,' he adds. 'And — this is my secret — Danielle Steel.' We all laugh. 'Yes, Danielle Steel.' For the first time Madoff looks truly embarrassed, even ashamed."
As embarrassing as it might be to admit you're spending your twilight reading romance novels in prison, we think it's safe to say Bernie Madoff has learned just how liberating honesty can be sometimes.