Friday, February 06, 2009

Lost Weekend At Bernie's

The release of the list of close personal friends who invested with Bernard Madoff (including their addresses) is creating a bit of a feeding frenzy (WSJ-sub req):

The document, released late Wednesday, consists of people who either were identified as customers in Mr. Madoff's records or who identified themselves as customers by contacting Irving Picard, the court-appointed trustee in charge of liquidating Mr. Madoff's assets, or the Securities Investor Protection Corp.

"It's as public as Paris Hilton porn movies," says Steven Salbe, 42 years old, a consultant who sets up corporate computer systems in Boca Raton, Fla., whose family lost much of its savings in the scandal. "It's the one list I prefer not to be on, but I'm on it."

The fact that it includes so much personal information, including home addresses, is sparking interest from the capitalist-minded. "This is the best prospecting list ever," says Ken Phillips, who runs RCG Capital Advisors, a Boulder, Colo., fund that invests in hedge funds. "You've got the names and addresses of a whole bunch of rich people who don't demand much accountability."

New York trial lawyer Gary Pillersdorf adds that some lawyers (not including him) inevitably will use it to troll for clients. "Lawyers all went to law school; they're not dumb," he says. "That list connotes people who have a lot of money."

If it wasn't bad enough for these folks to get scammed by Madoff, now they're going to have sleazy investment managers and lawyers all over them like buzzards on road kill.

The Journal story notes that a number of local individuals--including sports writing legend Sid Hartman--were among those whose names were named. If you're curious to see other names you might recognize there's a Bernard L. Madoff Investor Search Engine now available. Just don't plan on using it as your cold-calling leads list.

UPDATE-- Speaking of leads:

These are the new leads. These are the Madoff leads. And to you they're gold, and you don't get them. Why? Because to give them to you would be throwing them away. They're for closers.

By the way, to alleviate any concerns we should note that none of your friendly neighborhood Fraters correspondents have their names on the list. What spare change we do have laying around has been broadly diversified.

Believing that Martinis are recession proof, Atomizer is heavy in olive futures. JB is not only a customer, he's loaded up on stock in the company. And Saint Paul has his life savings riding on Obama commemorative plates. All three pretty much guarantee high returns.

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