Under the Black Flag

To Spurn a Stranger Cur

By the time you read this it might be very old news, and if it is, treat it as a background briefing.  But if the son-of-a-bitch I’m writing about is still out on bail and moving his ill-gotten assets around Israel and the environs, pay attention.  What you read can one day save your savings.

It was last summer when a friend of mine of very long standing asked me to come on board his boat for a business meeting.  “What are you doing for a regular income?” he asked.  “I might have something very interesting for you.  There is no risk involved.”  March 31, 2008, was the date I had exited from Fix Asset Management, the fund of funds I had invested in since the spring of 1990 and in which I had enjoyed 20 percent yearly compounded returns until the you-know-what hit the fan in October 2007.  Fix Asset Management was the brainchild of my childhood friend Karolos Fix, a German-Greek whose ancestors had come to Greece from Bavaria with the first Greek king, Prince Otto of Bavaria, back in 1837 (as had some of mine).  Fix had started his fund during the 1980’s and had really hit his stride by the time I joined in.

But back to my “friend” on his yacht.  He seemed awfully eager to make me rich.  But being the fool that I am, I never suspected a thing.  “The name is Madoff,” said the yachtsman, “and he’s more than a genius, he’s...

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