Friends of mine were amongst the biggest victims of the $65 billion Ponzi scam artist Bernard Madoff. Naturally, therefore, I’ve followed the fallout with great interest. It’s an awful story and one not only of financial loss. This is a story of suicides, bankruptcies and social downfall.
Today, following on from yet another auction of Madoff possessions in Florida, Madoff’s yacht, Bull, was put up for sale. Hemel Hempstead auctioneers Wyles Hardy & Co seek $4.3 million, a price inflated, they say, because of “the Madoff connection.”
Complete with the monogrammed initials of Bernie and his wife Ruth on the bedspreads and towels, the 90ft powerboat comes with six berths including owner’s stateroom, VIP en-suite cabin, guest en-suite and three crew berths. One can only imagine the thoughts of the former owner as he cruised the French Riviera.
To try and tempt interest, the boat, currently located in Monaco, was demonstrated to a reception of invited guests from the Gaim hedge fund conference last night. One would think these “hedgies” wouldn’t want to see, let alone own, a reminder of something that brought shame on their industry, but many turned up to sip champagne on the balcony of the Liorca Café.
Wyles Hardy state “If the owner wants anonymity a simple name change is all that is required.” If only it were that simple for those Madoff cheated.
It’ll be interesting to see how much this load of Bull will actually fetch.