"I don't know why I did it"


Recommended Posts

Looking up things on America's most famous frauds and their perpetrators for another post I was thinking of writing, I got sidetracked by the title quote by  Madoff in Investopedia.  For once in what is left of his life, somebody actually believes Bernie is telling the truth , even though though he may be unaware of its truth.

The first thing that struck me was how similar his early biography was to so many other hugely  successful people.  His father  failed in business while he was growing up and hIs life and expectations were much reduced. He swore to become an ultimate winner in the world which had made his father a loser. I have found this a recurring similarity in reading o f overachievers in all fields - not just fraud. Roy Cohn, over whom Michael and I brawled recently, had a similar narrowing of prospects in his early youth, for example.

Self-destruction runs in families (Hemingway et al  et al) and especially between fathers and sons. Was it just the gambler's compulsion to keep gambling until he loses everything? Or could his soul not bear to so vastly outdo his father, making the father even more of a loser? Or did he just get complacent and careless, and thus got caught, a casualty of the tough game he was playing?

The idea of powerful unconscious motives is the most compelling to me, coupled of course with the blind egotism of the financial criminal. Madoff might think his answer was just a tactic to rush off questions he doesn't feel like answering.

But I think he was unknowingly telling the truth.  He doesn't really know why he did it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites


He probably found he was trapped in a Ponzi the Hemingway way of going bankrupt.

On 3/3/2021 at 11:39 PM, Michael Stuart Kelly said:

... in The Sun Also Rises ... Mike Campbell (one of the characters) was asked how he went bankrupt.


Two ways. Gradually, then suddenly.





Link to comment
Share on other sites


Michael, you mention you look up actors in wiki. So do I, which is where I noticed the change I mentioned. Before, the entries would include a career summary which included any public controversies they were involved in with reference to sources. The ones I looked up we're just the facts, ma'am, no details like names of their children in some cases, just professional credits and awards. Which inclines me to believe the entry had to be approved by the actors themselves.

Andwhen I looked up Jovan Pulitzer, a name I never heard before the discussion here on voting machines etc., -- well, look at it yourself. It doesn't look like any entry I ever read. It's like a sales presentation or a contract bid or something. I did not detect any social undertones and I bet you don,t either,Surely the moderators did not write it, so who did?



Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now