Bernie Madoff, probable sociopath, following in the footsteps of Charles Ponzi, definite sociopath

Ah, the fruits of an economy that gives corporations sociopathic freedoms. The economy is such a perfect match to sociopathic skills that it is hard to believe it wasn’t designed by sociopaths.  If a corporate liars culture is allowed to develop, sociopaths will take it to the limit and beyond. Sociopaths are incapable of self regulation, they need adult supervision (literally, due to their existing in an arrested development state — morally,  judgementwise, personality, sexually, etc.).

Bernard Madoff

Bernard Madoff

Charles Ponzi

Charles Ponzi

Quoting Mike Lupica’s NY Daily News column, Unbridled greed chips away at last remnants of the American Dream,

There is an old line from Fay Vincent, the baseball commissioner who suspended George Steinbrenner for conspiring with a known gambler, Howie Spira. Steinbrenner paid Spira to get some dirt on Dave Winfield, for whom Steinbrenner had no use, and Vincent caught him doing that and kicked him out of the game.

Vincent said at the time that Steinbrenner had heard no moral alarm because “none sounded.”

There was no moral alarm for Bernie Madoff as he systematically ruined fortunes and pension funds, and ultimately lives, and didn’t get stopped until now. He is the biggest thief we know about, but only for now, because he is caught. You wonder how many more like him end up in orange jumpsuits before this is over.

I love that phrase, “no moral alarm sounded” — never does for sociopaths, must be quite an advantage over us.

Attorney Mark Mulholland (representing Madoff investors),

“He had this polished, magnetic approach that made folks want to invest their money with him. Everyone wanted in. From time to time, he would also reject potential investors. That just made other folks even more keen on getting into the Madoff fund.”

What a con! Folksy, magnetic. Laid a trail of candy for his marks to follow.

I have often heard it remarked that these conmen are soft sell artists.  I believe that is only superficially true.  I think that they are actually using all their abilities and concentration.  One way of looking at it is that they are running quintuple time mentally, so much so that they appear relaxed and nonchalant on the surface.  I once knew a sociopathic Don Juan who was so talented that his targets thought they seduced him, but really he was that far ahead of them (all the while adjusting his personality to his reading of the mark’s ideal and again laying a trail of bread crumbs/candy).

Top rank sociopaths are so good at what they do that their manipulations approach the realm of “weaving reality.” I would predict that Madoff approached this level.  When I was in management at E.F. Hutton I hired a couple of sociopaths.  One had eyes that were just pools of trustworthiness – it was almost impossible not to trust him.  In turned out that he was a fraud, he couldn’t do half the things he had said he could do.  Obviously I should have tested him more.  The other one also interviewed very well, including great eye contact.  Hutton went out of business soon after, I later heard that he had been fired as a psychopath by a law firm.  He was said to be a workplace bully and a puppetmaster manipulator whose specialty was turning people against each other and getting individuals fired.

Charles Ponzi was so smooth that many victims begged the government to set him free to continue his magic. Apparently, sociopaths gain this persuasiveness and manipulative ability due to a different brain structure.

Habitual Liar Brains Look Different On Scans

Adrian Raine and Yaling Yang have found that habitual liars have more white matter and less gray matter in their brains as compared to less lie-prone people. [ emphasis in original]

Finally, I would recommend paying close attention to those regulatory officials who gave Madoff a pass or looked the other way.  Due to both personal experience with corporate human resource departments and outside observations I believe that sociopaths recognize and protect each other, even to the extent that non-criminal sociopaths will often protect criminal sociopaths.

More Madoff:

How could Madoff not have made any trades for 13 years?

More Madoff — for sociopaths there is no such thing as an ingroup

Earlier posts:

Welcome to our sociopaths-gone-wild-economy

Commonalities between Wall Street speculators and/or Fed bankers and sociopaths

Low hanging fruit – the idiots who lead America

7 thoughts on “Bernie Madoff, probable sociopath, following in the footsteps of Charles Ponzi, definite sociopath

  1. These sociopaths run rampant in this era of greed. And when you have been victimized by them, it cuts much deeper than the money they steal from you. It destroys your faith in friends and business associates, because you mistakenly believed them to be either upright citizens and business acquaintances or maybe even friends.

    The most disgusting display of this “personality trait” is when they target and prey on the weak and defenseless. Such as a single mother.

    Take Charles Randall (aka Randy) M____ [PW: I don’t wish to use fullnames of non-public individuals, as I have no independent knowledge about them] and his wife Tara H______ M____. They preyed on their own franchise owner, a single mother who never cost them a dime, who paid all her own overhead from day one and worked hard for them, giving them a nice portion of every dime she earned.

    When their Ponzi scheme began to unravel, they decided she was “easy pickings” and stole an entire months payroll from her and then stopped returning any e-mails or phone calls, all the while aided and abetted by their Accounts manager Amy T______, who also immediately stopped returning any form of communication.

    They did all this right at the holiday season so that this single mom had no money for her two children for the holidays or even to pay her own mortgage or her bills.

    She tried to find justice in the legal system, but all it did was cause her to lose more and more money as she chased them for 6 years through multiple business name changes, etc… until after winning treble damages against them corporately, jointly, severally and individually, these scammers filed for bankruptcy.

    How is it that victims of scum like this never seem to get reimbursed for their time and trouble and the only ones that seem to win are the perpetrators and the attorneys? [PW: Maybe because they are never recognized for what they are. Sociopathic individuals of your description belong in mental hospitals, away from the population at large. But juries, judges and individuals with no knowing experience with sociopaths can’t believe that these scamsters are acting according to their nature and can’t change.]


  2. Hello !! 🙂
    I am Piter Kokoniz. Only want to tell, that I like your blog very much!
    And want to ask you: will you continue to post in this blog in future?
    Sorry for my bad english:)
    Thank you:)
    Your Piter Kokoniz, from Latvia


    • Hello Piter. Thank you for your comment. I intend to keep this blog running. Unfortunately I regret not having more time for it, I do have to make a living.

      I may move it into other directions in addition. I have very strong political and ideological beliefs, that I originally intended to stay away from. My point with this blog is that I believe knowledge of sociopathy is an absolutely necessary lifetool for us all. So I don’t want to chase people away from that message due to political disagreements. However, the whole world is at such a “fork in the road,” that perhaps I should join the struggle. The enemy, very simply, is the corporation freed to be sociopathic. The result is globalism, sociopathy run wild. At the same time, globalism is an old enemy, neocolonialism, which is really an older enemy, neoslavery. That’s what the globalists want to reduce us to, slave and serfs in the service of their vast wealth. They are more than willing to live off our misery, that is their intention. Human nature has not changed, particularly if sociopaths are given free rein. The solution, as I see it, is to keep corporations relatively weak and small. If they are going to be free to be sociopathic, then they must be weak. This is similar to psychological development — babies actually do get murderously angry but their weakness negates that. Corporate weakness would also stop underming democracy. A democracy can only allow so much concentration of power before it is turned against the citizens who in theory are sovereign. Here in the U.S., as I see it, the Republican Party is the party of globalism and the unfettered sociopathic corporation, the Democratic Party their house slaves hoping to pick up crumbs (see the donations, honorariums, speaking fees, corporate board seats, etc. to such as Larry Summers and Bill Clinton).


      • One of the best explanations of how we got where we are today is from economics professor Richard D Wolff. His website might be See his lecture When the shit hits the fan. He also lies his ass off when talking about the Federal Reserve, so you have to watch him on that.


  3. Hello!
    Very Interesting post! Thank you for such interesting resource!
    PS: Sorry for my bad english, I’v just started to learn this language 😉
    See you!
    Your, Raiul Baztepo


  4. I was honored by Signs of the Times ( picking this article up (

    They’ve been in this truth searching business for a long time. We also need to thank them for the online copy of Cleckley’s “Mask of Sanity” (linked to in the sidebar). (They’re either the same as or related to

    All nonprofit websites are welcome to pick up any articles they wish as long as they provide credit and link to the original.


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