Category Archives: Third Avenue Management

Hedge fund vultures circling Madoff victims.

They know it could take years to sort out the 20 billion dollar ponzi scheme that Bernie Madoff ran for decades, so they prey upon the victims, offering them 25-35 cents on the dollar now for their claims against the Madoff estate.These types of hedge funds are known as vulture funds.

Buying up bankruptcy claims isn’t new, but going after Madoff’s victims like a boat-load of ambulance-chasing lawyers shows how scruples and morals are not something these assholes have much of. From the NYT link:

David M. Barse, president and chief executive of Third Avenue Management, an active investor in distressed bankruptcy claims, said in recent months his analysts had advanced the idea of buying Madoff claims.

When the investment idea was discussed in October, claims were trading at about 25 cents on the dollar, and an analysis showed potential recoveries in the range of 40 to 80 cents.

But after discussing the idea with his senior management, Mr. Barse said he had decided that even though the trade sounded promising, Third Avenue would not participate.

The fraud is just so despicable that we felt that, from a moral perspective, it just didn’t make sense for us,” Mr. Barse said. “There are plenty of other ways to make money in this business.”(emphasis mine)

Mr. Barse evidently has a conscience. A tip of the hat to him. People have committed suicide after losing everything in Madoff’s ponzi scheme. But there is a light at the end of the tunnel for those hoping to recoup some of their original investment. From NYT Dealbook section:

A scandal flush with superlatives added yet another on Friday with a $7.2 billion legal settlement, the largest single forfeiture in American judicial history, to benefit the victims of Bernard L. Madoff’s global fraud.

The total amount available for compensating Madoff victims is now just under $10 billion, far more than expected when Mr. Madoff’s Ponzi scheme — the largest ever — fell apart after his confession and arrest two years ago this month.

Fifty cents on the dollar might sound low but it’s better than losing it all. The Madoff trustee has stated he hopes to start handing out the recouped funds to investors, that drew out less than their original investment, within the first three months of next year.

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