The Best of the Madoff Memorabilia
It's not Sports Biz per se, but it is memorabilia, which I love to cover.
You've seen the Enron, Bear Stearns and Lehman Brothers memorabilia pop up after their disintegration, but since it was a much smaller shop, Madoff memorabilia is much harder to get. We're pretty sure we got our hands on the two best pieces out there: a holiday greeting card "from your friends at Madoff" and an employee disaster kit.
Here's the greeting card. We bought it off eBay for $12. Are we totally sure it's real? No. But it seems likely. The signatures really do look like they were signed by different people and the fact that there's not a Bernie on here (we've yet to see a Madoff autograph hit eBay) kind of lends credibility to the card.
The second item we also bought on eBay for $50. It's an employee disaster kit -- obviously there's some irony there. It has a whole bunch of items in it including purified drinking water, some band-aids and, get this, a whistle to blow (whistleblower). The person we bought it from said that it was probably distributed to the firm after 9/11.
The last item you can get on your own. It's the hat Madoff wore two weeks ago when he went to the Manhattan courthouse to sign the conditions of his release. It's actually a hat from the Jackson Hole Mountain Resort. The resort sells the hats for $20 on their Web site. The resort's president told a local paper that "any branding is good branding."
That doesn't appear to be the philosophy any more as we got a message returned from a spokesperson who told us that no one from the resort would talk about the association with Madoff even though there's no financial tie between the two.
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