If you had unparalleled access to one of the biggest names in investing, wouldn’t you ask that person for some advice? That’s the logic that some prisoners at the federal prison in Butner, N.C. are using. Their financially savvy neighbor is Bernie Madoff, mastermind of the biggest Ponzi scheme in history. Yes, he knows something about investing.
Of course, all this presumes that Madoff is telling the truth about his prison experience, or about anything. In an interview with a Marketwatch reporter, he claimed that other prisoners ask him for investment advice all the time. They even asked him to teach a class on the subject, but for some reason the federal government wasn’t keen to let that happen.
Madoff surrendered to authorities five years ago this week. He was ultimately sentenced to 150 years in prison, which gives him lots of time to dole out investment advice to his prison buddies.
Regarding his crimes, Madoff blames the victims. They were bright enough people and should have known better, he says. “People asked me all the time, how did I do it. And I refused to tell them, and they still invested,” he now says.
My Interview With Madoff [Wall Street Journal]