Posts Tagged ‘Bernard Madoff’

No problem for a sociopath.  Consequences, cause and effect are far beyond the developmental stage of most sociopaths. Joe Jett of Kidder Peabody never thought the parade would end either.

Look at that “little boy lost” look.

Robert Kegan in “The Child Behind the Mask: Sociopathy as Developmental Delay.” In W. H. Reid, J.W. Bonner III, D. Dorr, and J.I. Walker (Eds.) Unmasking the Psychopath. (New York: W.W. Norton), 1986. (1986), p.  68:

The sociopath can sit still, inhibit immediate aims, defer gratification.  Indeed, if he did not have these abilities (which most latency-age children also have), people would not confuse him with an adult even with his adult-looking body (which most latency-age children do not have, and which has more to do with why latency-age children are not confused with adults than people realize).  [Kegan is saying I believe that it is the sociopath’s adult looking body that gets him into the door of adult life which he is actually unsuited for and absolutely untrustworthy in.]

A list of Kegan’s publications:  http://www.gse.harvard.edu/faculty_research/profiles/publications.shtml?vperson_id=318

In Jackass World sociopaths are given free rein. “The government is the problem, not the solution” — Ronald Reagan, airhead bubblehead and in my opinion a likely pseudologic sociopath (title of memoirs: “Where’s the Rest of Me”).

Earlier posts:

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

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

Welcome to our sociopaths-gone-wild-economy

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Madoff Even Scammed His Own Sister

Bernard Madoff’s own family was not spared from his greed and the Ponzi scheme that is said to have pilfered a massive $50 billion from unsuspecting investors. He is now said to have scammed millions from his sister, who is now desperately trying to sell her Florida home.


This is always a shock to people.  Everyone thinks that crooks and the corrupt have an ingroup in which they are caring about individuals.  John Gotti, for example, seemed to genuinely love his family.  However this is not true for sociopaths.

I recall an episode of Unsolved Mysteries that featured an “evil couple” consisting of a criminal sociopath and his corrupt normal wife.  Plan A, the crime (an impulse killing over an insult to his imperial sociopathic ego), failed, i.e., they were caught.  Plan B, their defense was failing.  So wife suggested Plan C, escape through faked suicide.  However, he neglected to inform her that he had a plan C1.  He salted the escape with real evidence, her body.  There is no such thing as a cherished ingroup to a sociopath.

Ripples of Madoff scandal spread everywhere

Your spirit and love of life have touched and changed all who knew you,” one friend of 40 years wrote in a paid death notice for [Norman] Levy that ran in The New York Times. “You taught me so much. I’ll cherish our relationship forever.”

The friend was Bernard Madoff.
. . . . .
In the summer, both families headed to the Hamptons.  . . .

For more than 30 years, the Levys also entrusted their personal investments to Madoff. When they chartered the Betty and Norman F. Levy Foundation, which reported assets last year of $244.4 million,  as the vehicle for their charitable giving, they again put their trust in their longtime friend.

My father believed in Bernie Madoff,” Norman Levy’s son, Francis, . . .  said in a recent interview with FOX Business News. “The one thing he said about Bernie (was), “If there’s one honorable person, it’s Bernie.”


That’s why they are called confidence artists, they truly inspire confidence.  But what’s a sister, friends of 40 years or neighbors to a sociopath, let alone charities and co-religionists? We’re all suckers to them.

I once worked with a very vivacious young woman, a real life-of-the-party type, uninhibited and fun loving.  She used to call us, her friends, “Suckers” and then laugh, and we’d laugh too.  But it was no joke. (This individual is worth expanding on. We shouldn’t have been surprised. She often regaled us with her wild and wacky life:  Great Adventure (an amusement park) had taken her picture and ordered her to never return (sociopaths in the absence of authorities they respect such as bosses or the police can really go wild); she said she sometimes slugged medical and dental personnel when getting shots (in the face of the pain, she totally dropped the adult self control act and her true primitive self came forward — she was an animal under attack and she had to respond.  With any sociopath or possible sociopath it is a very good idea to note at what point they lose the facade of self control.); and finally she said that cats and dogs generally hated her instantaneously (perhaps this indicates that cats and dogs have an innate sense of fairplay, I don’t know).)

Yet one more interesting twist, is that Madoff’s parents may themselves have been conartists.

Madoff’s mother tangled with the feds

The late Sylvia Madoff was registered as a broker-dealer in the 1960s but left the business after being cited for failing to file reports.

Accused Ponzi schemer Bernard Madoff was not the first person in his close-knit family to run afoul of federal authorities.


In my opinion, Bernie’s genetics and brain structure should be studied for clues to his crimes. Is Bernie Madoff one of the “mimics walking shoulder to shoulder with us, who share no fellow human feeling, no empathy, no conscience” (to borrow my own phrase, https://pathwhisperer.wordpress.com/past-notes/)?  It seems likely.

It should never be forgotten that he was a past Chairman of NASDAQ.  Why would investors question the bonafides of a person who once had that responsibility?  In my opinion, no one, no matter what their position, education or background, should be exempt from consideration as a possible sociopath or SAP (socially adept psychopath).

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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, http://www.nydailynews.com/money/2008/12/14/2008-12-14_unbridled_greed_chips_away_at_last_remna.html:

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), http://www.nydailynews.com/money/2008/12/14/2008-12-14_new_jersey_couple_joins_heartbreak_list_.html:

“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

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