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            《對話麥道夫》:首次揭秘史上最大的龐氏騙局

            《對話麥道夫》:首次揭秘史上最大的龐氏騙局

            Geoff Colvin 2021年04月14日
            有關麥道夫本人的疑團最吸引人

            2008年12月11日上午,紐約知名律師艾克·索爾金正在華盛頓特區一所幼兒園里看著孫女玩耍。上午9點半左右,他的手機響了。打來電話的是他的一位客戶——伯尼·麥道夫,后者開口說道:“我被聯邦調查局抓了,現在正銬在他們總部的椅子上,我需要你的幫助?!彼鳡柦鸷髞砘貞浀溃骸?1號早上打電話給我之前,麥道夫已經向聯邦調查局坦白了(自己的罪行)。我當時并不清楚他被捕的原因?!?/p>

            吉姆·坎貝爾的新書《對話麥道夫》(麥格希教育出版,將于4月27日面世)中便提及了這個小插曲,從中也能看出許多有關麥道夫本人和這本書(的特別之處)。律師怎么可以公開談論有關自己客戶的軼事呢?按照律師-客戶特權(Attorney-client privilege),這種行為本屬禁止之列,但正在北卡羅萊納州監獄服刑的麥道夫放棄了這種特權,并授權索爾金接受了坎貝爾的采訪。

            麥道夫的妻子露絲也與坎貝爾進行過對話,接受過采訪的還有麥道夫的兒子安德魯、多名前任雇員、部分受控人員的律師、負責相關調查的聯邦調查局特工、法務財務顧問,以及其他許多此前未曾就該起史上最大且最具破壞性的龐氏騙局接受過作家或記者采訪的人士。最重要的是,麥道夫本人在監獄服刑期間也與坎貝爾有過電子郵件溝通,他還給后者寄去了多封頗具篇幅的手書信件。

            如此一來,《對話麥道夫》就成了一部獨一無二的著作,也很可能會成為那場讓全世界成千上萬投資者陷入貧困的大規模犯罪事件的權威信息來源(除非他們根本就不是投資者)。

            各界投資者總共交給了麥道夫195億美元資金,雖然麥道夫謊稱本金及投資收益總計已達648億美元,但他實際并未進行任何投資。麥道夫的首席副手弗蘭克·迪帕斯卡利(被其律師稱之為首席欺詐官)告訴坎貝爾,“一切都是假的、都是虛構的。這么做不對,我當時就知道?!?/font>

            《對話麥道夫:揭露史上最臭名昭著的龐氏騙局背后的故事》

            那么,麥道夫與坎貝爾進行詳談的原因是什么呢?坎貝爾在書中寫道:“我推測麥道夫是想把我當作自己發聲的渠道,希望通過我來講出他對整個事件的看法。不過我敢說,他肯定會對我的發現感到失望的?!笨藏悹柺且幻檰?,在華爾街工作多年,同時還是電臺節目“吉姆·坎貝爾商業對話”(Business Talk with Jim Campbell)的主持人。

            按照麥道夫的說法,他的大規模詐騙行為持續了至少16年的時間,(或者更可能如坎貝爾所稱的那樣持續了至少35年的時間),在此背景之下,很難想象麥道夫會如何講述他的故事。不過在《對話麥道夫》中明顯可以看出他非常希望得到他人理解,坎貝爾稱之為“對他人理解的尼克松式的病態需求”。

            在信中,麥道夫承認自己犯下了滔天大罪,但卻試圖逃避責任,不斷以荒誕不經的理由為自己辯護。他在信中寫道:“是華爾街的腐敗文化讓我變成了現在這副摸樣,這里的每個人都在做著這種不法勾當?!?/font>

            他甚至還為開始“龐氏騙局”尋找借口。他聲稱自己合法的投資業務在1992年遇到了困境,當時一筆極為復雜的交易出現了問題,而他最大的投資者(所謂“四大”)“未能履行承諾”。為了誤導其他投資者,使之相信業務仍在正常開展,他走上了一條不歸路:將旗下投資基金變成了龐氏騙局。

            在麥道夫的故事中,他并非一個生來就想做罪犯的壞人。雖然他也承認自己在1992年的那場危機中犯了很多錯誤,但他仍然希望外界相信自己是為歹人所迫才犯下了種種罪行。對此,坎貝爾不買賬。他的分析表明,在1992年之前,麥道夫的“龐氏騙局已持續了數十年之久?!?/font>

            在《對話麥道夫》一書中,有關麥道夫本人的疑團最為引人注目。作為一名商人,他無疑取得過輝煌的成就,不僅協助創建了納斯達克,更曾在該組織擔任主席一職。曾有投資者愿意出價30億美元收購他創辦的做市公司,但由于擔心買家盡職調查會使其龐氏騙局露餡,他只得選擇拒絕。

            證據顯示,案發之前,他未曾向自己的妻子和兩個兒子透露過任何有關自己犯罪行為的信息。在他從監獄寄給自己兒子安迪及其未婚妻的紙條上只寫著:“親愛的安迪和凱瑟琳,對我所做的一切,我感到非常抱歉。父留?!背酥怆p方便未有更多和解的動作。安迪后來死于癌癥,麥道夫的另一個兒子馬克則于2010年自縊而亡。

            另一個揮之不去的問題是:既然龐氏騙局終將破滅,麥道夫難道沒有意識到自己注定會失敗嗎?

            可能沒有??藏悹栒J為,麥道夫并未制訂退出策略。直到案發前的最后時刻,他仍然非常受人尊敬,投資者都非??释奄Y金交給他管理。顯然,他相信自己可以將騙局進行到自己身故為止,如果2008年的金融危機沒有導致出現客戶擠兌(當然這是不可能的),也許他真的可以做到。他一定知道他的投資者、雇員和家人也在遭受著同樣、甚至更深重的痛苦,只是他早已不在乎這些了。(財富中文網)

            譯者:梁宇

            審校:夏林

            2008年12月11日上午,紐約知名律師艾克·索爾金正在華盛頓特區一所幼兒園里看著孫女玩耍。上午9點半左右,他的手機響了。打來電話的是他的一位客戶——伯尼·麥道夫,后者開口說道:“我被聯邦調查局抓了,現在正銬在他們總部的椅子上,我需要你的幫助?!彼鳡柦鸷髞砘貞浀溃骸?1號早上打電話給我之前,麥道夫已經向聯邦調查局坦白了(自己的罪行)。我當時并不清楚他被捕的原因?!?/font>

            吉姆·坎貝爾的新書《對話麥道夫》(麥格希教育出版,將于4月27日面世)中便提及了這個小插曲,從中也能看出許多有關麥道夫本人和這本書(的特別之處)。律師怎么可以公開談論有關自己客戶的軼事呢?按照律師-客戶特權(Attorney-client privilege),這種行為本屬禁止之列,但正在北卡羅萊納州監獄服刑的麥道夫放棄了這種特權,并授權索爾金接受了坎貝爾的采訪。

            麥道夫的妻子露絲也與坎貝爾進行過對話,接受過采訪的還有麥道夫的兒子安德魯、多名前任雇員、部分受控人員的律師、負責相關調查的聯邦調查局特工、法務財務顧問,以及其他許多此前未曾就該起史上最大且最具破壞性的龐氏騙局接受過作家或記者采訪的人士。最重要的是,麥道夫本人在監獄服刑期間也與坎貝爾有過電子郵件溝通,他還給后者寄去了多封頗具篇幅的手書信件。

            如此一來,《對話麥道夫》就成了一部獨一無二的著作,也很可能會成為那場讓全世界成千上萬投資者陷入貧困的大規模犯罪事件的權威信息來源(除非他們根本就不是投資者)。

            各界投資者總共交給了麥道夫195億美元資金,雖然麥道夫謊稱本金及投資收益總計已達648億美元,但他實際并未進行任何投資。麥道夫的首席副手弗蘭克·迪帕斯卡利(被其律師稱之為首席欺詐官)告訴坎貝爾,“一切都是假的、都是虛構的。這么做不對,我當時就知道?!?/font>

            那么,麥道夫與坎貝爾進行詳談的原因是什么呢?坎貝爾在書中寫道:“我推測麥道夫是想把我當作自己發聲的渠道,希望通過我來講出他對整個事件的看法。不過我敢說,他肯定會對我的發現感到失望的?!笨藏悹柺且幻檰?,在華爾街工作多年,同時還是電臺節目“吉姆·坎貝爾商業對話”(Business Talk with Jim Campbell)的主持人。

            按照麥道夫的說法,他的大規模詐騙行為持續了至少16年的時間,(或者更可能如坎貝爾所稱的那樣持續了至少35年的時間),在此背景之下,很難想象麥道夫會如何講述他的故事。不過在《對話麥道夫》中明顯可以看出他非常希望得到他人理解,坎貝爾稱之為“對他人理解的尼克松式的病態需求”。

            在信中,麥道夫承認自己犯下了滔天大罪,但卻試圖逃避責任,不斷以荒誕不經的理由為自己辯護。他在信中寫道:“是華爾街的腐敗文化讓我變成了現在這副摸樣,這里的每個人都在做著這種不法勾當?!?/font>

            他甚至還為開始“龐氏騙局”尋找借口。他聲稱自己合法的投資業務在1992年遇到了困境,當時一筆極為復雜的交易出現了問題,而他最大的投資者(所謂“四大”)“未能履行承諾”。為了誤導其他投資者,使之相信業務仍在正常開展,他走上了一條不歸路:將旗下投資基金變成了龐氏騙局。

            在麥道夫的故事中,他并非一個生來就想做罪犯的壞人。雖然他也承認自己在1992年的那場危機中犯了很多錯誤,但他仍然希望外界相信自己是為歹人所迫才犯下了種種罪行。對此,坎貝爾不買賬。他的分析表明,在1992年之前,麥道夫的“龐氏騙局已持續了數十年之久?!?/font>

            在《對話麥道夫》一書中,有關麥道夫本人的疑團最為引人注目。作為一名商人,他無疑取得過輝煌的成就,不僅協助創建了納斯達克,更曾在該組織擔任主席一職。曾有投資者愿意出價30億美元收購他創辦的做市公司,但由于擔心買家盡職調查會使其龐氏騙局露餡,他只得選擇拒絕。

            證據顯示,案發之前,他未曾向自己的妻子和兩個兒子透露過任何有關自己犯罪行為的信息。在他從監獄寄給自己兒子安迪及其未婚妻的紙條上只寫著:“親愛的安迪和凱瑟琳,對我所做的一切,我感到非常抱歉。父留?!背酥怆p方便未有更多和解的動作。安迪后來死于癌癥,麥道夫的另一個兒子馬克則于2010年自縊而亡。

            另一個揮之不去的問題是:既然龐氏騙局終將破滅,麥道夫難道沒有意識到自己注定會失敗嗎?

            可能沒有??藏悹栒J為,麥道夫并未制訂退出策略。直到案發前的最后時刻,他仍然非常受人尊敬,投資者都非??释奄Y金交給他管理。顯然,他相信自己可以將騙局進行到自己身故為止,如果2008年的金融危機沒有導致出現客戶擠兌(當然這是不可能的),也許他真的可以做到。他一定知道他的投資者、雇員和家人也在遭受著同樣、甚至更深重的痛苦,只是他早已不在乎這些了。(財富中文網)

            譯者:梁宇

            審校:夏林

            On the morning of December 11, 2008, prominent New York attorney Ike Sorkin was at a nursery school in Washington, D.C., watching his granddaughter play. Around 9:30 a.m., his cell phone rang. It was a client, Bernie Madoff, whose first words were, “I’m handcuffed to a chair at FBI headquarters. I need your help.” Sorkin later recalled, “By the time he called me on the phone that morning of the 11th, he had already confessed to the FBI. I had no idea why he’d been arrested.”

            That vignette, related in Madoff Talks (McGraw-Hill Education), a new book by Jim Campbell publishing April 27, reveals much about Madoff and about the book. A lawyer telling anecdotes about his client? Attorney-client privilege forbids it, but Madoff, from prison in North Carolina, had waived privilege and given Sorkin permission to talk to Campbell.

            Madoff’s wife, Ruth, also talked to Campbell, as did his son Andrew, many of Bernie’s former employees, the lawyers of some who were charged, the FBI agent who led the investigation, forensic finance consultants, and many others who have not spoken to any other author or journalist writing about history’s largest and most devastating Ponzi scheme. Most important, Madoff himself exchanged email with Campbell and sent him long, handwritten letters, all from prison.

            Madoff Talks is thus unique and will likely stand as the authoritative source on this massive crime that impoverished thousands of investors around the world—except that they weren’t investors at all.

            Of the $19.5 billion they entrusted to Madoff, which he falsely told them had grown to $64.8 billion, not a single dollar was ever invested in anything. Madoff’s chief lieutenant, Frank DiPascali—whose own lawyer referred to him as the Chief Fraud Perpetuating Officer—told Campbell, “It was all fake. It was all fictitious. It was wrong, and I knew it at the time.”

            So why did Madoff decide to communicate at length with Campbell? “I believe, from his perspective, he saw me as an avenue to get his side of the story out,” writes Campbell, a consultant and Wall Street veteran who hosts a syndicated radio program, Business Talk with Jim Campbell. “He will, I am sure, be disappointed with my findings.”

            It’s hard to imagine what Madoff’s side of the story might be, given that he ran a gigantic fraud for at least 16 years, as he maintains, or more likely for 35 years or longer, as Campbell argues. Yet it becomes clear in Madoff Talks that he feels what Campbell calls a “Nixonian pathological need to be understood.”

            In surreal passages from his letters, Madoff acknowledges that he committed a huge crime but constantly tries to deflect responsibility. “I was a product of the corrupt culture of Wall Street,” he writes—the “everybody does it” defense.

            He even provides an excuse for starting the Ponzi scheme. He claims that his legitimate investing business hit a bad patch in 1992, when an incredibly complex trade went bad and his biggest investors, known as the Big Four, “failed to honor their commitments.” In order to mislead the rest of his investors into thinking all was well, he started down the fatal path of turning his investment fund into a Ponzi scheme.

            That’s Madoff’s story – that he didn’t really want to become a criminal. While acknowledging that he made multiple errors in that 1992 crisis, he wants us to believe that bad guys pushed him into doing what he did. Campbell doesn’t buy it. His analysis suggests that by 1992, “the Ponzi scheme had been underway perhaps for a couple of decades.”

            What comes through most strongly in Madoff Talks is the enigma of Madoff himself. He was impressively and legitimately accomplished, having helped to build NASDAQ and serving as its chairman. He founded a market-making firm that he could have sold at one point for as much as $3 billion; but he couldn’t sell it because any prospective buyer’s due diligence would have uncovered the Ponzi scheme.

            Evidence suggests he protected his wife and two sons from any knowledge of his criminal enterprise. Yet from prison he sent a note to his son Andy and his fiancée that said, in its entirety: “Dear Andy and Catherine, I’m so sorry for everything. Dad” There was no further reconciliation. Andy has since died of cancer, and Madoff’s other son, Mark, hanged himself in 2010.

            One other question lingers: Since Ponzi schemes must inevitably collapse, didn’t Madoff realize he was doomed?

            Maybe not. Campbell believes Madoff had no exit strategy. Until the very end he remained highly respected, with investors eager to give him their money. He apparently believed he could keep the scam going until he died, and if the financial crisis of 2008 hadn’t prompted hordes of customers to withdraw funds—which, of course, weren’t there—maybe he could have. He had to know the suffering for his investors, employees, and family would have been just as bad, perhaps worse. But he was long past caring.

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