James Bandler and Nicholas Varchaver, Fortune,
Submitted by: Editor
How Bernie did it
NEW YORK (Fortune) -- The employees were transfixed. Standing on the mid-Manhattan trading floor of Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities in late 2007, a half-dozen staffers stared up at the ceiling-mounted TV as CNBC aired a report on the mysterious Palm Beach death of a hedge fund manager who had been leading a double life. The police, it appeared, were even considering the possibility that he had been murdered. "Bernie," someone casually asked as Madoff happened to walk by, "have you heard of this guy?"
Madoff glanced at the screen, blanched, and exploded: "Why the fuck would I be interested in some shit like that?" The employees recoiled. "I never saw him react like that before," says a Madoff trader who witnessed the outburst. "It obviously hit a nerve."