Insider Monkey is heartbroken (no sarcasm here) that a healthy man, with a beautiful wife and four gorgeous kids, felt so defined by his place in society that he thought he wasn’t worth the air that he breathed. Schadenfreude towards the elder Madoffs notwithstanding, this is sad.
Mark’s wife Stephanie had her name and her children’s names changed long ago. Why that wasn’t a viable alternative for Mark, we don’t know. He could have sacrificed his own content, perhaps done a 180° turn from the gluttonous life of his father, and kept in mind that he wanted better for his own children than what he got from his own parents. The family could have moved off the grid- to Alaska? Congo? He could have taken on a new identity and learned to enjoy the God given gift of LIFE- the same kind millions of Americans have and are content watching Saturday morning cartoons with the kids, mowing the lawn on the weekends and eating a home-cooked dinner everynight with the meat on sale that day.
Or, he could have created a new reputation for himself. It would’ve been possible for the Madoff name to by synonymous with both selfishness and selflessness. Mark’s options for living a life of humility were endless. America is the place for redemption, forgiveness, new turns. Prince Andrew’s exwife Fergie once said she could never have created a new persona in England because the US was the place where people really believed it was possible to become a better person, even becoming a different person. After all, no one really blames the children for anything (We at Insider Monkey, don’t). The children are hapless spectators; it’s nearly impossible for them to distance themselves from the morals and lives of their parents. Barack Obama is as wonderful as his mother was. Reverend Chloe Breyer has the same, if not more impressive, morals as does her father, Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer. Meanwhile, we’re not at all surprised that the man being questioned by police in connection to the death of rising fashion designer Sylvie Cachay, Nicholas Brooks, is the son of a criminal, serial rapist Joseph Brooks.
Yes, – all the money Bernie stole from so many people, it was wrong. But keep in mind, in order to be an accredited investor (invest in a hedge fund) in the US, one must have a net worth of at least one million US dollars or have made at least $200,000 each year for the last two years ($300,000 with his or her spouse if married) and have the expectation to make the same amount the current year. In other words, Madoff’s victims were not living paycheck to paycheck. Some of them may have been leveraged to the max, but not because of costs of food and shelter. We don’t feel that much pity for those who didn’t pay due diligence in where they invested their money and instead trusted the “Madoff” brand name. In short, the victims of the Madoffs weren’t disabled, or children. They were educated adults with enough money to spare to enjoy the simple life should their investments go awry.
We are sorry for you, the four children of Mark Madoff. We hope that in 30 or so years you can become more of a human being than was your father. It seems your father fell victim to the legacy the elder Madoff created, that one’s own happiness and societal place surprasses the wellbeing of anyone else, including one’s own children.
The only not ugly angle to Mark Madoff’s suicide is the pain Bernie would feel when learning of his son’s demise. Somehow, we don’t think he’ll care.