The Dark Mark of Mark Madoff's Death

Posted: Dec 17, 2010 11:28 AM
The NYT reports on the death of Bernie Madoff's son, Mark:
The renewed media attention and incessant litigation had weighed on Mr. Madoff, say his friends. But a close friend who spoke with him on Friday said his concern over the anniversary coverage didn’t seem out of the ordinary.

...his behavior the last week of his life did not ring any alarms with those in regular contact with him. They never expected how the week would end.
Suicide never makes sense, but his suicide seemed explainable in the context under which it was carried out. Insider trading blogs claim that real Wall Street firms never did business with Bernie Madoff because no real traders ever believed the Madoff prospectus. Their opinion is that Madoff got money from retirees and rich people who were either willfully ignorant in the first place, or too arrogant to seek further financial expertise beyond trusting Bernie.

Point being: if his kids couldn't understand the prospectus, and took major paychecks from Dad without asking where the money came from, they're eventually / probably legally, and definitely morally, culpable. Maybe they're not on the same level of callousness as Bernie, but regardless, they will eventually have to pay all their earnings back to the suckers (or just the lawyers) Madoff ripped off.

If Mark didn't fell like living like a schmuck in the middle of nowhere where he could just work some job and no one knew his name, then his choices were looking pretty bad. Suicide clearly wasn’t the only option, but to him, it was.