A Letter from Bernie Madoff to Prospective Shareholders of Madoff Securities, Federal Correctional Division.
Dear Fellow Inmates/Investors:
The past fiscal quarters have seen a great deal of turmoil, both in the market and in many of our personal lives. Just yesterday I was in the chow line chatting with Antonio, who works in the laundry room, when he remarked on how life seems to be forever throwing curveballs. This time last year, Antonio was the owner of a successful business with offices in Bolivia, Miami, and the Bahamas when an associate tragically stabbed himself in the face fifty-two times in the middle of the Everglades. As if the pain of that loss wasn’t enough, within weeks Antonio’s business had been shuttered and his assets seized by the federal government. Now he’s washing skivvies nine hours a day. All because he ran a traffic light, I believe he said.
I think it’s safe to say we can all empathize with Antonio’s situation and his yearning for brighter days gone by. When my bunkmate, Larry, is having his way with himself in the middle of the night, my gently rocking bed makes me long to be aboard my yacht, the waves of the Aegean softly lapping against the prow. It can be tough to see the light at the end of the tunnel, but I’m reminded of what I said to my wife on the eve of my arrest: “Ruth, the good times ain’t over yet and don’t forget about the jewels in the safe under the bed.” Between my night terrors and bouts of amoebic dysentery, I find myself taking a lot of solace from those words. While we can’t predict what tomorrow will bring—though hate mail and death threats are good guesses, if the last few weeks are any indication—we can take steps to ensure a profitable future. And so, with an eye on prosperity, I would like to offer you, my fellow inmates, the investment opportunity of a lifetime with Madoff Securities, Federal Correctional Division.
At Madoff Securities, we invest in what we know. Your cartons of Kools and Winstons aren’t going to be traded for anything as complicated as soybean futures or stock certificates. In fact, in my fifty years in the financial industry, I hardly ever sent buy or sell orders to the floor at all. Just ask the SEC! Instead, we aim to invest in undervalued industries that you, the shareholder, can understand. Analysis of prison prostitution as a financial instrument, for instance, has been neither comprehensive nor conclusive. It’s our belief that sellers have been vastly underestimating what the market will bear, while buyers have been resorting to coercion to extract exorbitantly low prices. This has led to an artificially flooded market, as well as an unusually busy infirmary.
It’s this type of actionable insight that makes Madoff Securities a much more lucrative long-term investment than, say, charging fellow inmates to borrow the most recent issue of Swank. (Can someone please stop lending to Larry so I can get some sleep?) Furthermore, the opportunities for expanding Madoff Securities are almost limitless. Though trials are still pending, we anticipate having officers at institutions across the country. With the management of Madoff Securities, you’re assured consistency and longevity. We’re in this for the long haul, our lawyers assure us. And now is the time to act! With the cigarette glut of June safely behind us, every new deposit builds on our economies of scale. After all, why should we be individually buying off guards when our combined purchasing power can allow us to negotiate the most favorable shower times at the most favorable prices? We’ve also just added the Cellblock B Toilet Distillery to our operations. With the inevitable influx of contraband that comes with Father’s Day, we anticipate that we’re entering the orange rind gin market at a very profitable time.
While it’s true that our negotiations with The White Kings got off to a rocky start, the partnership has since taken off. Any news to the contrary, Kings’ leader Landry Bedford has asked me to announce, is simply a “conspiracy perpetrated by the liberal, Jew-run media.” (His words, not mine.) As a long-standing firm here at this correctional center, their business will serve as the cornerstone for our operations. It is important to note that The White Kings collect protection in advance of any services offered, which will provide Madoff Securities with an extraordinary amount of float capital. In fact, their unique business model actually means that the more they collect, the less work they have to do. I’d recommend this ingenious strategy to my friends on Wall Street, if any of them would still accept my calls.
These are difficult times for all of us but, if we are brave, they are also moments of opportunity. Now is the time for action. The peak is high, the climb is daunting, the slopes are steep, but the view from the top makes it all worth the effort. You know, like standing on one of the big pointy buildings the Egyptians used to make. I’ve always been inspired by those things.
Send in your deposits!
SUGGESTED READSTontine Rules
by River Clegg (2/8/2012)
List: Titles I’m Kicking Around for My Forthcoming Bernie Madoff Biopic
by Eric Feezell (3/13/2009)
The Kurt Luchs Money-Making System
by Kurt Luchs (1/3/2001)
RECENTLYMurder Beach is Open for Summer!
by Matt Bower (5/27/2016)
List: Ways in Which We Swipe Right After 34
by JoJo Franzen (5/27/2016)
Inside Witnesses: One Crime’s Many Narratives: Amy Makes it Home, Part 2
by Marti Jonjak (5/27/2016)
POPULARList: Things the World’s Most and Least Privileged People Say
by John-Clark Levin (5/19/2016)
I Would Rather Do Anything Else Than Grade Your Final Papers
by Robin Lee Mozer (5/2/2016)
List: Obituaries for Teenage Girls If They Actually Died When They Say They’re Dying
by Karen Chee (5/26/2016)