The Tragedy of Bernie and Ruth Madoff…

28 Oct

According to a CBS interview with Ruth Madoff, wife of petty swindler Bernard Madoff, she and her husband attempted to kill themselves on Christmas Eve 2008:

Ruth Madoff, in her first public comments on life with her husband, said they swallowed a large number of pills because they ‘couldn’t go on any more’.

The couple lay down on their bed next to each other…  hoping to die, but woke up the next morning unharmed.

I guess it’s not surprising that Bernard Madoff could not even honor a suicide pact. It’s also not surprising that crushing guilt over having ruined the lives of people who trusted him did not lead them to this desperate act.

Mrs Madoff, 68, said she and her husband, 73, had been driven to desperation by the abuse they received since he confessed earlier that month to being behind the world’s biggest ever financial crime.

‘I don’t know whose idea it was, but we decided to kill ourselves because it was so horrendous what was happening.’

Yes, it is a bummer when people are upset that you’ve robbed them both blind and deaf. Unfortunately, the Madoffs survived and now Ruth is living in modest means in Florida. Considering all the Jewish victims of Madoff’s crime, it strikes me as odd that Ruth would choose the sunshine state for her exile. Idaho might have been preferable.

(Ruth Madoff) has exchanged the lifestyle of a billionaire for a modest £200,000 flat in Florida where she hands out meals to the homeless.

She is also now so poor that relatives are giving her handouts and she has been reduced to driving around a rusty 14-year-old car.

Someone should check to ensure how many of those meals actually get to the homeless. Also, her lifestyle sounds better than what many Floridians are experiencing, especially if she’s not actually living in the car. I also don’t get the conspicuous consumerism behind the statement that someone is “reduced” to driving a 14-year-old car. Does it have turn signals, brakes, and an engine? Air conditioning in Florida is close to a necessity but I’m fine with Ruth Madoff just sticking her head out the window when she comes to a traffic light.

Meanwhile, Bernard is in a North Carolina prison, where he is apparently happier than he was on the outside.

Walters quoted Madoff as saying: “… I have people to talk to, no decisions to make. I know I will die in prison. I lived the last 20 years of my life in fear. Now, I have no fear because I’m no longer in control.”

Are we certain Madoff was sent to prison and not some run-of-the-mill nursing home? He doesn’t seem to miss his wife that much — though who can blame him if you believe what his daughter-in-law has to say about her?

What was Madoff afraid of for the past 20 years? Just that his business was a Ponzi scheme that defrauded investors – including charitable organizations — of about $20 billion, while he and his family enjoyed a lavish lifestyle right out of the Robin Leach playbook.

His current lifestyle, though, is somewhat preferable to the state he left many of his elderly victims:

I am an 80-year-old man in poor health whose remaining years have been totally devastated by Bernie Madoff. My wife and I have lost every dollar of our life savings in Madoff’s fraud scheme with no hope of recovery. We have had to sell every asset that we own in order to survive, and we don’t know how long the proceeds will last. I cannot begin to describe to you the toll that Madoff’s actions have taken on us financially, physically and emotionally…. Mr. Madoff is a ruthless and unscrupulous man with no conscience or remorse.

Leonard Forrest
Port Saint Lucie, Fla.

These people know fear, Mr. Madoff. You only know cowardice.

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Posted by on October 28, 2011 in Capitalism, Pop Life


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