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A view of Madoff's "victims"

Daniel McGowan -- Professor Emeritus, Hobart and William Smith Colleges, and founder of Deir Yassin Remembered -- has written an unusual and interesting essay in which he suggests that many of Madoff's victims were, themselves, victimizers. He is pleased that their ability to continue to harm people may be diminished:

The Madoff Victims: They Richly Deserved It

As the news of Bernard Madoff's colossal fraud focused on America's most "important" Jewish tycoons and moguls, it was only a matter of hours before the story was spun around their victimhood with the usual cudgels of "anti-Semitism" and the Holocaust. In Israel columnist Bradley Burston spun the story best by declaring, "The anti-Semite's new Santa is Bernard Madoff. ... The Aryan Nation at its most delusional couldn't have come up with anything to rival this."

As the list of Madoff's "victims" grows, their common characteristic is not philanthropy, but rather political Zionism. Virtually all have worked to build a Jewish state with little regard, and often downright hatred, for the non-Jewish population living there.

The money from this type of mogul or "ganzer macher" has been used to dehumanize and depopulate non-Jews in Palestine for over 120 years. But in spite of creating a strong Israeli economy based on guns, diamonds, and security services and in spite of walling Arabs in Bantustans in the West Bank and in the KZ lager known as Gaza, they have failed. Non-Jews outnumber Jews within the borders controlled by Israel, which makes a mockery out of calling it a Jewish state.

Schadenfreude is defined to be largely unanticipated delight in the suffering of another which is recognized as well deserved. Political Zionism deserves scorn and derision; it is racist and antithetical to what Americans profess to hold self-evident: that all men and women are created equal and that we should share equal rights of citizenship. When rich Zionists lose a piece of their portfolios, especially to the guile of one of their own, it is a delight.

The press was first to report Madoff's pilfering of the Robert Lappin "Charitable" Foundation, an organization whose "mission is helping to keep our children Jewish, thus reversing the trend of assimilation and intermarriage." If the reader has trouble seeing the blatant racism here, substitute "White" for "Jewish" and imagine it was the stated goal of the David Duke Charitable Foundation.

While Mr. Burston found Madoff's bilking of "fellow Jews, even Holocaust survivors" particularly outrageous, there are those who find divine justice in seeing one fraud defraud another. Elie Wiesel and his Foundation for Humanity would certainly qualify. Here is a man who has made millions peddling his narrative on the deaths of Jews in World War II; his novel, "Night," is mandatory reading for most high school students; questioning it in any way invites charges of "anti-Semitism" and "Holocaust Denial." He has been feted by Presidents and holds dozens of honorary degrees. If there were a CEO of the Holocaust Industry (a term coined by Norman Finkelstein), surely it would be The Great Weasel.

Wiesel's Foundation claims to combat indifference, intolerance and injustice through programs to promote acceptance, understanding, and equality. Yet he remains persistently indifferent to over 60 years of suffering of the Palestinian people and treats them with silence or as the "untermenschen" his people once were under the Nazis. Wiesel boasts of having worked for the terrorists of the Jewish Irgun, not as a fighter but as a journalist, and he steadfastly refuses to apologize for the massacre by his employer at Deir Yassin. As a devout Zionist there is no way he can endorse one state in Israel/Palestine with equal rights of citizenship for all.

Other victims of Madoff's deception, like the Shapiro Family Foundation and the Chais Family Foundation, are undoubtedly genuinely philanthropic and well-meaning. But insofar as their gifts support Jews-only education, medicine, and social programs in Israel, they deserve the derision that would be accorded to Aryan philanthropists or others who support a racist state, one whose very laws favor one chosen group over all the rest.

Madoff's clients were not just generous Jews; they were Jews who directly or indirectly support the racism inherent in political Zionism. They support the assimilation of Ethiopian Jews (a noble enterprise), but reject the assimilation of Israeli Arabs and the Palestinians caged in West Bank and Gaza. They support "birthright" trips for young American Jews in hopes they will settle in Israel, but not the "Birthright Unplugged" educational trips of Hannah Mermelstein or the work of Jeff Halper's Israeli Committee Against Home Demolitions.

Madoff's wealthy victims build ever more Holocaust memorials with the message "Never Forget" but ignore the current siege and starvation of Gaza to which they contribute financially and by their silence. Like The Great Weasel, they simply dismiss the analogy as "unworthy." Where is the Spielberg movie of the Gaza ghetto that isolates three times as many people as the Warsaw Ghetto and in worse conditions? Where is the support for Righteous Jews (www.RighteousJews.org<http://www.righteousjews.org/>) like former Princeton University law professor Richard Falk, who calls what Israel is doing to the 1.5 million Palestinians in Gaza "a crime against humanity?" Falk has condemned the collective punishment of the Palestinians in Gaza as "a flagrant and massive violation of international humanitarian law as laid down in Article 33 of the Fourth Geneva Convention."

Cast in terms of their impact on the struggle for Palestinian human rights, it is difficult not to plead guilty to schadenfreude caused by the greed of Bernard Madoff. In fact, my only regret is that Edgar Bronfman and Alan Dershowitz were not among his preferred clients.


Of course, there are many other victims as well. While the media have largely focused on the organizations discussed above, a great many others also suffered major losses. Below is a partial list from the Wall Street Journal:

Madoff's Victims

The fallout from Bernard Madoff's alleged Ponzi scheme reverberated around the world as the list of investors facing losses widened. Among the biggest losers were charities, hedge funds, and banks in Europe and Asia. Below, see some of the most exposed investors and sort by the amount of potential losses. --Updated 12/19/08


Investor Description Amount of Exposure Comment
Investor Description Amount of Exposure Comment
Fairfield Greenwich Advisors An investment management firm $7,500,000,000 More than half of Fairfield Greenwich's $14.1 billion in assets under management, or about $7.5 billion was connected to Madoff.
Tremont Group Holdings Hedge-fund group $3,300,000,000 The investment firm is owned by OppenheimerFunds and Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Co. Tremont's Rye Investment Management business had $3.1 billion invested, and its fund of funds group invested another $200 million.
Banco Santander Spanish bank $2,870,000,000 In euros, the figure is 2.33 billion.Of that, 2.01 billion euros belongs to institutional investors, Optimal Strategic hedge fund investors (international private banking customers); 320 mllion euros belongs to other private banking customers.
Bank Medici Austrian bank $2,100,000,000 The bank had two funds with $2.1 billion (1.5 billion euros) invested with Madoff. Bank Medici is 25% owned by Unicredit SpA and 75% owned by chairwoman Sonja Kohn.
Ascot Partners A hedge fund founded by billionaire investor, philanthropist and GMAC chief J. Ezra Merkin $1,800,000,000 The hedge fund had $1.8 billion under management as of Sept. 30, had substantially all of its assets invested with Mr. Madoff.
Access International Advisors A New York-based investment firm $1,400,000,000 N/A
Fortis Dutch bank $1,350,000,000 Fortis Bank and its subsidiaries have no direct exposure to Bernard Madoff Investment Securities LLC, but parts of the group do have a risk exposure to certain funds it provides collateralised lending to. If, as a result of the alleged fraud, the value of the assets of these funds is nil and the respective clients cannot meet their obligations, Fortis Bank Nederland (Holding) N.V.'s loss could amount to around EUR 850 million to EUR 1 billion. The continuity of Fortis Bank Nederland (Holding) N.V.and its subsidiaries is not at stake in any way.
Union Bancaire Privee Swiss bank $1,000,000,000 The bank's exposure to Madoff -- less than 1.26 billion Swiss francs -- is less than 1% of overall bank assets.
HSBC British bank $1,000,000,000 HSBC provided financing to a small number of institutional clients who invested in funds with Madoff; some clients in its global custody business have invested with Madoff, but the company doesn't believe these arrangements should be a source of exposure to the group.
Natixis SA A French investment bank $554,400,000 The company says it didn't make direct investment in Madoff-managed funds; some investments made on behalf of customers could have ended up being managed by Madoff. Exposure is about 450 million euros.
Carl Shapiro The founder and former chairman of apparel company Kay Windsor Inc., and his wife $545,000,000 Mr. Shapiro, a 95-year-old apparel entrepreneur and investor, had $545 million with Mr. Madoff, creating what could become the largest personal loss yet in the scandal. A spokeswoman for the family confirmed that Mr. Shapiro's charitable foundation, the Carl and Ruth Shapiro Family Foundation, invested $145 million with Mr. Madoff. Mr. Shapiro and his family had an additional $400 million or more invested with Mr. Madoff. Mr. Shapiro, a widely respected philanthropist, was one of Mr. Madoff's earliest and largest investors.
Royal Bank of Scotland Group PLC British bank $599,000,000 The bank had exposure of about 400 million pounds to Madoff through trading, collateralized lending.
BNP Paribas French bank $431,170,000 The company said it has no investment of its own in Madoff-managed hedge fund but it does have risk exposure (up to 350 million euros) through its trading business and collateralized lending to funds of hedge funds.
BBVA Spanish bank $369,570,000 The company reiterated it doesn't have direct exposure to Madoff but would face losses of 300 million euros if Madoff funds were found not to exist.
Man Group PLC A U.K. hedge fund $360,000,000 Invested in funds directly/indirectly sub-advised by Madoff Securities
Reichmuth & Co. A Swiss private bank $327,000,000 The Lucerne-based private bank warned investors that around 385 million Swiss francs, or 3.5% of its assets under management, were affected.
Nomura Holdings Japanese brokerage firm $304,000,000 The 27.5 billion yen exposure is through Fairfield Sentry; That amount represents 0.2% of assets under management.
Maxam Capital Management A fund of funds based in Darien, Connecticut $280,000,000 The fund reported a combined loss of $280 million on funds they had invested.
EIM SA A European investment manager with about $11 billion in assets $230,000,000 The European investment manager with about $11 billion in assets. Overall, EIM assets at risk are less than 2% of what it manages.
AXA SA French insurance giant $123,200,000 Exposure is well below 100 million euros.
Credit Industrial et Commercial SA French bank $111,000,000 The bank has no direct exposure to Madoff but could be affected through an intermediary.
UniCredit SpA Italian Bank $92,390,000 The company's total exposure is about 75 million euros. Dublin-based Pioneer Alternative Investments is indirectly exposed to Madoff via feeders; Italian clients have zero exposure.
Hadassah The Women's Zionist Organization of America $90,000,000 Hadassah had approximately $90 million invested with Mr. Madoff.
Nordea Bank AB Swedish Bank $59,130,000 The amount of exposure is about 48 million euros.
Hyposwiss A Swiss private bank owned by St. Galler Kantonalbank $50,000,000 Hyposwiss said roughly 0.1% of its overall assets was invested in Madoff products through managed accounts. Another $100 million is exposed through clients who chose to invest in Madoff funds. St. Galler Kantonalbank said its financial situation and liquidity aren't hurt by Hyposwiss' exposure.
Banque Benedict Hentsch & Cie. SA A Swiss-based private bank $48,800,000 Banque Benedict Hentsch said its clients have 56 million Swiss francs at risk. Benedict Hentsch had also recently agreed to merge with Fairfield Greenwich Group, a major Madoff distributor. When the news of Mr. Madoff's arrest broke, it scrambled to undo that deal.
Fairfield, Conn. town pension fund $42,000,000 The town's employees board and police and fire board, which cover 971 workers, had $41.9 million invested with Madoff, said Paul Hiller, Fairfield's chief fiscal officer.
Bramdean Alternatives An asset manager $31,200,000 The exposure is about 9.5% of assets.
Tufts University University $20,000,000 The university's Investment Committee authorized an investment with Ascot Partners, which in turn invested the entire sum with Madoff Securities. Tufts has written off the value of this investment, which totaled $20 million, or slightly less than 2 percent of our endowment.
Jewish Community Foundation of Los Angeles The largest manager of charitable gift assets for Los Angeles Jewish philanthropists $18,000,000 The amount invested with Madoff represented less than 5% of the Foundation's assets.
Harel Insurance Investments & Financial Services Ltd. Israel-based insurance firm $14,200,000 N/A
Baloise Holding AG Swiss insurer $13,000,000 N/A
Societe Generale French Bank $12,320,000 The company says its exposure, which is less than 10 million euros, is "negligible."
Groupama SA French insurer $12,320,000 Exposure is around 10 million euros.
Credit Agricole SA French bank $12,320,000 Exposure is less than 10 million euros.
KAS BANK European financial company $11,000,000 KAS BANK has exposure through one of its clients. A material write-down of these investments could result in an unsecured claim. The extent of the potential loss cannot yet be established precisely, but will not exceed 9 million euro net.
Richard Spring individual investor $11,000,000 A Boca Raton resident and former securities analyst, says he had about 95% of his net worth invested with Mr. Madoff. Mr. Spring said he was also one of the unofficial agents who connected Mr. Madoff with dozens of investors, from a teacher who put in $50,000 to entrepreneurs and executives who would put in millions.
RAB Capital hedge fund $10,000,000 N/A
Banco Popolare Italian bank $9,860,000 The company says it had indirect exposure of up to 8 million euros; maximum lost on funds distributed to institutional, private clients is about 60 million euros.
Korea Teachers Pension A 10 trillion won Korean pension fund $9,100,000 N/A
Swiss Life Holding Swiss insurer $78,900,000 Swiss Life said it has indirectly invested assets worth around 90 million Swiss francs through funds of funds managed by Madoff Investment Securities.
Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance Co. Japanese insurance and financial group $9,000,000 Mitsui Sumitomo didn't invest directly in the Madoff fund.
North Shore-Long Island Jewish Health System health system $5,700,000 Exposure represents less than 1% of the health system's investment portfolio. A donor agreed to reimburse the system for any losses.
Neue Privat Bank Swiss bank $5,000,000 The bank invested in a certificate based on a hedge fund with exposure to Madoff
International Olympic Committee The organizer of the Olympic Games $4,800,000 The IOC's exposure represents about 1% of its total investment portfolio. Organizing committee confirmed they will be able to meet their obligations.
Clal Insurance Enterprise Holdings An Israel-based financial services company $3,100,000 N/A
Ira Roth individual investor $1,000,000 Mr. Roth, a New Jersey resident, says his family has about $1 million invested through Mr. Madoff's firm.
Mediobanca SpA via its subsidiary Compagnie Monegasque de Banque. $671,000 Limited to $671,000 via its Compagnie Monegasque de Banque. via its subsidiary Compagnie Monegasque de Banque.
Fred Wilpon owner of New York Mets N/A N/A
Steven Spielberg The Spielberg charity -- the Wunderkinder Foundation N/A N/A
JEHT Foundation A New York foundation focused on electoral and criminal justice reform N/A The foundation, which stands for Justice, Equality, Human dignity and Tolerance, will close its doors at the end of January 2009. Donors Jeanne Levy-Church and Kenneth Levy-Church had all their funds managed through Madoff.
Mortimer B. Zuckerman Charitable Remainder Trust The charitable trust of real-estate magnate, who owns the Daily News and U.S. News & World Report N/A Funds exposed represented 11% of the value of that charitable trust.
Robert I. Lappin Charitable Foundation A Massachusetts-based Jewish charity N/A The group, which financed trips for Jewish youth to Israel, was forced to close on Friday because the money that supported its programs was invested with Madoff.
Chais Family Foundation A charity that gives away about $12.5 million annually to Jewish causes N/A The California-based charity group invested entirely with Madoff, and was forced to shut down operations on Sunday after years of donating some $12.5 million annually to Jewish causes in Israel and Eastern Europe.
KBC Group NV Belgian banking and insurance group N/A No direct exposure; some indirect exposure through collateralized loans, but the exposure is very limited and immaterial to KBC's earnings. KBC has also made some loan advances to institutional customers who have invested in funds managed by Madoff Investment Securities, but this shouldn't have any material impact either, the company said.
Credit Suisse Swiss bank N/A The company says it has "no material direct exposure." It is reviewing if any client funds were affected.
Barclays PLC British bank N/A The bank says it has "minimal" exposure" and is "fully collateralized"
Dexia French bank N/A No direct investments in funds managed by Madoff,; private banking clients have total exposure of EUR78 million to funds primarily invested in Madoff funds. Indirectly, Dexia is exposed through partially collateralized lending operations to funds exposed to Madoff funds for a gross amount of EUR164 million. If the assets managed by Madoff Investment Securities were nil, the above mentioned lending operations could trigger an after tax loss of about EUR85 million for Dexia.
Allianz Global Investors The asset management unit of German insurer Allianz SE N/A The unit says exposure "is not significant."
Banco Espanol de Credito SA (Banesto) A Spanish bank contolled by Banco Santander N/A Its clients have a total 2 million euros exposure
CNP Assurances French insurer N/A No direct exposure. Indirect exposure of 3 million euros via a fund of funds
UBS AG Swiss bank N/A The bank says is has "no material exposure."
Yeshiva University A New York-based private university $110,000,000 Although the university had "no direct investments" in Madoff's firm, a portion of its endowment had been invested for 15 years with Ascot Partners, which had "substantially all its assets invested with Madoff." Yeshiva's investment represents about 8% of its endowment. J. Ezra Merkin had been a University trustee but has resigned in the wake of the scandal.
The Elie Wiesel Foundation for Humanity The charitable foundation of Nobel laureate N/A N/A
Leonard Feinstein The co-founder of retailer Bed Bath & Beyond N/A N/A
Sen. Frank Lautenberg The charitable foundation of the New Jersey Senator's family N/A N/A
Norman Braman former owner of Philadelphia Eagles N/A N/A
Jeffrey Katzenberg The chief executive of DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc. N/A Mr. Katzenberg's financial affairs along with those of Mr. Spielberg were managed by Mr. Breslauer, Mr. Katzenberg has suffered millions in Madoff-connected losses, say people familiar with the matter.
Gerald Breslauer The Hollywood financial advisor to Steven Spielberg and Jeffrey Katzenberg N/A Along Messrs Katzenberg and Spielberg, Mr. Breslauer himself has likely sustained heavy losses in the Madoff affair. He customarily invests alongside his clients, say these people, and has sometimes been a larger investor than the people he represented
Kingate Management hedge fund N/A Kingate's $2.8 billion hedge fund Kiingate Global Fund reportedly invested heavily with Madoff
Julian J. Levitt Foundation Texas-based charity N/A N/A
Loeb family N/A N/A N/A
Lawrence Velvel individual investor N/A Mr. Velvel is dean of the Massachusetts School of Law
Fix Asset Management. hedge fund N/A reportedly invested heavily in Madoff's portfolios
EFG International AG Swiss private banking and asset management group N/A EFG clients have $130 million invested in Madoff through third-party funds sold by EFG. In addition, 0.3% of the bank's total invested assets, held in custody, are invested in Madoff.
Support Organization for the Madison Cultural Arts District Non-profit N/A The group had $18 million invested with Fairfield Greenwich until September. A spokesman for the Overture Center in Madison, Wis., built with SOMCAD funds, said, "Speculation that SOMCAD could be on the hook is not outlandish."
Royal Dutch Shell pension fund Pension fund N/A The pension fund has an indirect investment that may be affected. The fund originally invested $45 million. The alleged fraud won't affect the financial position and funding status of the fund.
Fire and Police Pension Association Of Colorado Pension Fund N/A It had $60 million invested with Fairfield Greenwich until six months ago. The pension fund has $2.5 billion under management
Genevalor, Benbassat & Cie. money manager in Geneva N/A Members of the Benbassat family, which run the firm, have long known Mr. Madoff. In a statement on its Web site, Genevalor said it "has been reviewing the potential damages caused to its clients" by the alleged Madoff fraud. A statement from the Thema fund said it had assets with Madoff that were now frozen, but did not elaborate.
Banco Espirito Santa Portugese bank $21,400,000 The amount represents about 0.1% of assets under management.
Great Eastern Holiding Singapore insurer $64,000,000 Great Eastern said $7.7 million of its exposure is invested from its Life Fund. Great Eastern is 87% owned ny Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp.
M&B Capital Advisers Spanish brokerage $52,800,000 The firm is run by the son and son-in-law of the chairman of Banco Santander. Through M&B, private and institutional investors bought more than $214 million in Madoff's funds.
Royal Dutch Shell pension fund Global energy and petrochemical company N/A The pension fund fund has an indirect investment that may be affected. The fund originally invested $45 million. The alleged fraud won't affect the financial position and funding status of the fund.
Phoenix Holdings Israeli financial services company $12,600,000 Phoenix's insurance unit invested $15 million over the last three years in funds managed by Thema, which made investments through Madoff. In November, the company requested to redeem $10 million. The payment was due Dec. 12 but Phoenix hasn't received it.
Credicorp Peruvian financial services company $4,500,000 Credicorp's Atlantic Security Bank unit has $1 million in direct exposure and up to $3.5 million in potential contingencies "related to transactions secured by these investments."
Fukoku Mutual Life Co. Japanese insurer N/A The company said it holds similar investments trusts to those held by Sumitomo Life Insurance Co. but declined to specify the balance. Sumitomo disclosed that it has about 2 billion yen, or about $1.8 billion, exposed via trusts.
New York Law School law school in New York City $300,000 The school invested the money through its endowment entity. The school filed an investor lawsuit against J. Ezra Merkin, Ascot Partners and BDO Seidman.
Nipponkoa Insurance Japanese insurer N/A he company said it holds similar investments trusts to those held by Sumitomo Life Insurance Co. but declined to specify the balance. Sumitomo disclosed that it has about Y2 billion exposed via trusts.
Sumitomo Life Insurance Co. Japanese insurer $22,000,000 Sumitomo Life didn't invest directly in the Madoff fund but part of its investment trust holdings were linked to it.
Swiss Reinsurance Co. Swiss insurer $300,000 Exposure is through hedge fund investments; no direct exposure.
Aozora Bank Ltd Japanese lender $137,000,000 Aozora entrusted 12.4 billion yen to investment funds, which invested with Madoff. Cerberus Capital Management LP owns a majority stake in Aozora.
UBI Banca Italian bank $86,000,000 The bank said the exposure is linked to proprietary investments. UBI Pramerica and Capitalgest Alternative Investments, the assets-under-management units, have no exposure.
Taiyo Life Insurance Co. Japanese insurer $17,900,000 Taiyo Life didn't invest directly in the Madoff fund.

Sources: WSJ reporting; Associated Press; the companies and charities




Posted on Sunday, December 21, 2008 at 03:16PM by Registered Commenter[Alison Weir | Comments Off

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