Or is it just beginning?

[N]o one could possibly be that good given the volatility of the markets. “As we know, markets go up and down, and his only went up.” … [Harry] Markopolos noted that during his tenure at Rampart, he traded with some of the biggest derivatives companies in the world, and none of them dealt with [Bernard] Madoff because they didn’t think his numbers were real.

Markopolos is talking about the year 1999. It wasn’t until Bernard Madoff was arrested in 2008 that Yeshiva University – under cover of night, without comment – erased his name as chair of its business school. This was farcical enough, but Yeshiva went farther: It invested huge sums with the financial criminal of the twenty-first century. “We thought he was God,” said his fellow trustee, Elie Wiesel.

One appreciates Wiesel’s honesty. He is willing to state openly just how stupid, just how grossly negligent, were the conflict-of-interest crazies running Yeshiva University.


The excellent Gavriel Brown, who writes for YU’s student newspaper, provides a detailed account of the manifold ways in which the very same fools, who continue to run Yeshiva, have now run it into the ground. The column even provides an edgy graphic (scroll down) complete with smugly grinning President Richard Joel. Brown concludes:

YU can no longer be an empire and President Joel can no longer be an emperor.

Yes, especially since he turns out to be Nero.


But the farce deepens yet more. The comments on Brown’s column are from outraged Yeshiva insiders who cannot believe that anyone in the Yeshiva family has the shamelessness to air this dirty laundry. How dare he! The next thing you know, someone will point out that the family that endowed an entire Yeshiva campus – the Wilfs – just got convicted of racketeering. That Ezra Merkin held as powerful a position as Yeshiva trustee as his partner in crime, Madoff. That the board of trustees has long been farcically rife with conflict of interest.

Of all the investment managers in New York City and around the world, the board chose one of its own to manage a significant portion of the university’s endowment. Given the conflict of interest, the trustees who approved the decision to invest endowment with Madoff should be held accountable if they failed to perform adequate due diligence.

Do you think anyone has been held accountable? Well, put it this way. Do you think that Zygi Wilf has been removed from Yeshiva University’s board of trustees?


You want farce? An American university priding itself on its piety as the higher education arm of the orthodox Jewish community resembles a criminal enterprise. It seems to be run by an emperor. It is cheered on to annihilation by idjits. That’s farce.

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