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Bernie Madoff’s OCD: Yeah, He’ll Do Well in Prison

Bernie Madoff is fast becoming the Kevin Bacon of Wall Street — everyone knows someone who's been burned by Bernie.

Bernie Madoff
CNBC.com
Bernie Madoff

There are, by my best estimate, 657,482 people who fall asleep at night, with visions of Bernie Madoff as someone’s prison girlfriend dancing in their heads.

Well, if you’re not Steven Spielberg, who, incidentally, is among the many victims of Madoff (along with Kevin Bacon), here’s some material to fill in the rest of your dream-time script.

Bernie, it seems, has a bit of an obsessive-compulsive disorder, as revealed in the Daily Mail’s peek “inside the bizarre world” of Bernie Madoff. For the uneducated, OCD is when people are obsessively meticulous about things. Maybe they turn the lights on and off three times before entering a room or hose down everything with a wet nap because they’re paranoid about germs.

Why is this being reported from overseas and not by one of the New York paparazzo camped out on Madoff’s doorstep? Apparently, he goes — sorry, went — to London 2 to 3 times a year and had an office there. And, it seems, when the scandal erupted, the New York office got a month’s pay and the London office got — what's British for squat?

The Daily Mail interviewed the London office manager, who was, go figure, more than happy to share details of Madoff’s peculiar requirements.

According to the article, he liked smoked salmon, cucumber and cream cheese sandwiches, with diet Coke — no substitutions.

They have smoked salmon in prison, right?

He kept a set of clothes at the Lanesborough hotel(up to $12,000 a night), where he always stayed, so he didn’t have to worry his pretty little tanned head over a wrinkle in his knickers. The staff would clean and press the clothes and hang them in the wardrobe in his suite ahead of his arrival — as if he lived there.

He fancied a gray and black office décor, going so far as to have the London office made to resemble the New York office as closely as possible. Even his private jet was black and gray.

You know what goes nicely with gray and black? Orange. Though, FYI — I hear they wear gray in the Missouri pen.

It gets worse: The London staff would run around like lunatics for days before his arrival, leveling the blinds, making sure every computer screen was at the exact same height, that every picture was straight and there weren't any papers on the desk. (His obsessive attention to detail seems to have helped ensure that there was no paper trail.) They even ran around with Sharpies to black out any scuffmarks on the baseboards.

The office manager recalls him once freaking out over a semi-circular wall the new videoconferencing system was mounted on.

“I can’t have that in my office!” he’s quoted as saying. “I can’t live with it. It has to be square.”

Well, Bernie, here’s the good news: Most of the things in prison are square or rectangular. Except of course for the shanks. Those come in all shapes and sharpnesses.

But you’ll figure it out. You're crafty like that.

Good luck! Don’t forget to write.

Pony Treats:

  • Bernie's Blog. How many times have you said “What was he thinking?”about Bernie Madoff. Great news! He’s got a blog. Heh heh. Check out www.bernard-madoff-scam.blogspot.com for his daily musings, titled “I’m Bernard Madoff — I’m telling all. Right here. Trust me.” Posted by user code name “Not the Devil.” (See Jane Wells' interview with the Bernie Blogger.)
  • His Latest Victim. And, leave it to Andy Borowitz, he of “Who Moved My Soap? The CEO’s Guide to Surviving in Prison” fame, to uncover Madoff’s latest victim: Osama bin Laden. The terror chief, aptly, made the announcement in the form of a video aired on the al-Jazeera network. Check it out on the BorowitzReport.com.

Questions? Comments? Write to ponyblog@cnbc.com.

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