Saturday, February 6, 2016

Bernie Madoff

I watched the four hours of Bernie Madoff from the ABC show today, and it was quite good. Richard Dreyfuss really does an amazing job depicting him.

I was somewhat traumatized when this happened -- which sounds selfish -- of course not as traumatized as people who lost their life savings... but a week or so after Madoff was arrested, I read a piece on Huffington Post by a woman who had made her career in the magazine business and except for she became editor and I became ad director our stories were quite similar. Now she was facing retirement with a comfortable nest egg (or so she thought), a cleaning woman and other perks. Just like me. Now she is financially ruined... totally broke.

What got me, however, beside our career similarities, is that she wrote about being so thrilled when she got to put her money in the Madoff fund because top execs at Conde Nast where she worked also had their money with him and she thought "oh boy, my money is in the same place as these bigwigs."

That was another similarity. In my 30s, I was "accepted" by this tax accounting firm which specialized in magazine execs and how I had to be recommended blah blah blah and they don't just take anyone and so they took me and I remember thinking the exact thing this woman did -- that my taxes were being done by the same people as the senior execs. I know with metaphysical certainty that I would have given my money to Madoff if the senior execs I worked with had made the offer. It scares the bejeezus out of me.

Well, luckily my tax guy, whom I still use, is a good guy and an honest guy and we've had a long relationship of trust, but the thought that this woman could have been me is terrifying.

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