For those of you who missed last night’s airing of “The Madoff Affair” it’s now available online.
The program has a startling interview of Michael Bienes, one of the first people to set up a feeder fund for Madoff. Bienes describes those early years as “easy, easy-peasy, like a money machine.” When asked if he had ever questioned Madoff about his approach, Bienes says: “Never. Why would I ask him? I wouldn’t understand it if he explained it.” Bienes didn’t know how Madoff was doing it. “How do I know? How do you split an atom? I know that you can split them; I don’t know how you do it. How does an airplane fly? I don’t ask.”
My previous assumption was that Madoff started off legitimate and went bad somewhere along the way. Based on the Bienes interview I am rethinking that assumption. It sounds like Madoff went bad very early on, maybe even from the beginning.
You can watch the video below:
There is additional material on the Frontline website for The Madoff Affair: