Category Archives: swindling

Madoff’s masterly $65bn sucker game

Web of exquisite lies

Bernie Madoff, writes Dalrymple, was the type of swindler

who is hyper-respectable and sober in appearance. How gladly I should have entrusted my savings to him if he had asked me! Such a calm, intelligent face, full of strong but discreet character!

His Ponzi scheme

was so brilliant that even now it excites my admiration, though I know that it was wicked.

Madoff offered

not huge and spectacular gains, but steady, invariant, yet more than adequate ones that could plausibly have been the fruit of unusually wise investment in turbulent times.

The gains were offered

only to the people whom Madoff accepted as clients, who then came to think of themselves as specially privileged to be taken into his embrace, which turned out be more spider’s web than sheltering fold.

Evil tenants

G.J. Pinwell, Landlord and Tenant, 1871

G.J. Pinwell, Landlord and Tenant, 1871

Recently one of the tenants of Dalrymple’s next-door neighbour

did a bunk, owing him £3,000 in rent.

A quick investigation

established that she had done this all her life: she had cheated and swindled landlords for decades. She had many court judgments against her; not one had been executed. Obtaining such a judgment only added to the losses incurred by her successive landlords.

Tenants have a tendency to

turn their rented properties into sties, make unreasonable demands, withhold payment and regard any ill-conduct towards their landlord as justified ipso facto.

Landlords

have little redress against the ruthless or dishonest.

Ironie assez macabre

Alexandre Stavisky

‘La tombe de Stavisky [pictured] se trouve dos-à-dos avec celle d’Édouard Drumont, l’un des plus féroces antisémites français,’ explains the Cimetières de France et d’ailleurs website