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Madoff Loses Lexus And Other Luxuries

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Poor Bernie Madoff. First the feds accused him of running a Ponzi scheme bigger than the the pyramid racket that took down Albania. (They're right.) Then people started razzing him for his name--which, in case you haven't heard, is pronounced "MADE-off". And now, another insult: Bernie's forfeiting the leases on his stable of luxury cars and SUVs. Oh, the humanity.

There are six vehicles in his fleet, and they're all pretty conventional, ranging from a 2008 Cadillac DTS to a 2007 Land Rover Range Rover. The trustee who's trying to sort out the details of Bernie's $50 billion mess has asked a bankruptcy judge to allow cancellation of the leases. The court shouldn't have much objection--after all, canceling the leases puts a tiny bit more money back into Bernie's pot, which will someday provide partial reimbursement to his investors. And with Bernie under house arrest, why would he need the cars anyway?

But this begs a couple of bigger questions--namely, why would anyone who lives in Manhattan need six cars in the first place? Wouldn't it be easier to just hire a driver or two? And for someone with that much dough, don't Bernie's choices seem a little--no pun intended--pedestrian?

UPDATE: The leases for all six vehicles run $6,238.79 a month, and canceling them now would save upwards of $117,000 over the life of the contracts. That's some fairly hefty change for the people Bernie chumped.

[NYTimes]

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