Weekend at Bernie’s

Published: August 17, 2009

By Jim Lichtman
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Right now an eminent TV actor, (an up-and-coming Dustin Hoffman type) is busy researching his role as the lead in the next made-for-cable hit.

No, not “Weekend at Bernie’s III.”

It’s “a gripping docu-drama” about the man who out-Ponzied Ponzi entitled “The Man who Made off with Other People’s Money.”  (Of course it’s a dumb title, it’s cable.)

A little putty on the nose, some age makeup, (maybe not as much, if they can get Richard Dreyfuss) the trademark black baseball cap and quilted coat, smirky smile and… Bingo!

Need something sooner?

Sign-up on Amazon.com today and you can be part of the big, pre-sale crowd of impatient people who are desperate to read, “Madoff’s Other Secret – Love, Money, Bernie and Me” by Sheryl Weinstein due out at the end of this month.

What’s that, you say, you didn’t know that, according to Ms. Weinstein, ol’ Bernie cheated on his wife Ruth with no less than the chief financial officer of Hadassah, the Jewish volunteer organization?

Holy Smokes!  You’re kidding, right?

Ms. Weinstein, married with a son, not only had an illicit relationship with Madoff, she and her husband had invested “virtually everything they owned with Mr. Madoff, and lost it all,” wrote the Wall Street Journal.  Not only was she guilty of the affair, she failed to disclose to her own employer the conflicts of interest.

You’re making this up?

This is why Hollywood is so smart to stick with all those over-the-top, let’s-explode-the-earth- from-several-different-angles-for- half- the- running- time blockbusters.  Truth is a lot stranger than any fiction Hollywood could possibly create.

But wait, our cable actor is too smart to stick to one book for his research.  He’s got to be studying the other three scheduled for release:  Erin Arvedlund’s “Too Good to Be True”; Andrew Kirtzman’s “Betrayal”; and Jerry Oppenheimer’s “Madoff With the Money.”

Yes, by now our actor (what’s Elliot Gould doing these days?) is deeply immersed in all the intricacies of insider trading, hedge funds, and derivatives; practicing all the financial geek speak that will allow him to transform into Bernard L. Madoff the same way Meryl morphed into Julia Child.

But wait, where’s Harry’s book?


Harry Markopolos, the guy who tried for nine years to get the SEC to expose the biggest fraud scheme in history.

Oh, Jim.  Who wants to read about that goody-two-shoes? There are more important things people want to know.

Like what?

Like, who are they going to get to play Sheryl Weinstein?  My bet’s on an up-and-coming Angie Dickinson type.


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