Baseball for the Thinking Fan

Login | Register | Feedback

btf_logo
You are here > Home > Baseball Newsstand > Baseball Primer Newsblog > Discussion
Baseball Primer Newsblog
— The Best News Links from the Baseball Newsstand

Monday, February 20, 2012

NY Times: Trustee Says Mets Saw Madoff as House Money

Maybe Wilpon and Katz meant to say they invested in the Vanguard Dividend Appreciation Index Fund…

Saul Katz called it the Madoff “vig.”

Vig, or vigorish, is a gambling term, meaning the money a bookmaker collects on every bet taken, regardless of the outcome — a kind of dependable handling fee.

To the court-appointed trustee suing Katz and Fred Wilpon, the owners of the Mets, the Madoff “vig” was, quite simply, evidence of the men’s implausibly unyielding faith in Bernard L. Madoff’s steady investment returns, and the men’s dependence on those returns to help finance their businesses and deepen their personal wealth.

The trustee, Irving H. Picard, asserts that Katz and Wilpon took out bank loans just to invest the borrowed money with Madoff, confident that their returns would be better than the interest on the loan. That was the vig at work.

Katz and Wilpon, according to the trustee, structured player contracts to draw out the timing of their payments. They would then invest the money they owed the players with Madoff and make a profit across the many years of the contract payments. That, too, was the vig. ...

Finally, instead of paying disability insurance premiums for key players on the team, the trustee says, Katz and Wilpon put the money into an account — called “Saul’s cookie jar” — to pay injured players. That, as well, was the vig. ...

The vig was described by David Katz, one of Saul’s sons, during a sworn deposition in late 2010 when he was questioned about one way that the family company, Sterling Equities, made money with Madoff.

“You borrow money at 5 percent and you’d make 10 percent,” David Katz said. “You’d make a ‘vig,’ as my father would say, on the Bernie investment.”

The lawyer deposing Katz, according to a transcript of the proceeding, briefly appeared confused by the term.

“You’d make a vague?” the lawyer asked.

Katz said, “Vig, vig, vigorish.”

“Oh, vig, as in v-i. ...,” the lawyer responded.

Katz said: “Oh, don’t even ask. Sorry.”

bobm Posted: February 20, 2012 at 11:12 PM | 4 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: business, mets

Reader Comments and Retorts

Go to end of page

Statements posted here are those of our readers and do not represent the BaseballThinkFactory. Names are provided by the poster and are not verified. We ask that posters follow our submission policy. Please report any inappropriate comments.

   1. will Posted: February 21, 2012 at 11:08 AM (#4065454)
Take away everything they have, and let them live on their Social Security......That would be justice.
   2. Crispix Attacksel Rios Posted: February 21, 2012 at 11:36 AM (#4065474)
Further evidence that "investing" is usually indistinguishable from gambling. "Investing" that isn't gambling I would call "saving".
   3. Swedish Chef Posted: February 21, 2012 at 11:45 AM (#4065486)
Further evidence that "investing" is usually indistinguishable from gambling. "Investing" that isn't gambling I would call "saving".

The only difference between gamblers and savers is that savers don't believe they risk losing their money, but there are no safe havens.
   4. Xander Posted: February 21, 2012 at 11:56 AM (#4065496)
It's just so amazing that the the rationale which motivated the deferred Bonilla payments was based on the principles of the largest economic scam in the history of the world. That's basically the only way that contract structure makes sense.

You must be Registered and Logged In to post comments.

 

 

<< Back to main

News

All News | Prime News

Old-School Newsstand


BBTF Partner

Dynasty League Baseball

Support BBTF

donate

Thanks to
Jim Wisinski
for his generous support.

Bookmarks

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Hot Topics

NewsblogLook at the size of this WEEKEND OMNICHATTER!, for April 21-22, 2018
(58 - 5:19pm, Apr 21)
Last: salvomania

NewsblogOT - 2017-18 NBA thread (All-Star Weekend to End of Time edition)
(2305 - 5:18pm, Apr 21)
Last: LA Podcasting Hombre of Anaheim

NewsblogESPN's top 50 players
(9 - 5:16pm, Apr 21)
Last: Walt Davis

NewsblogOT: Winter Soccer Thread
(1541 - 5:13pm, Apr 21)
Last: Mefisto

NewsblogOTP 2018 Apr 16: Beto strikes out but is a hit at baseball fundraiser
(1164 - 5:10pm, Apr 21)
Last: Joe Bivens Recognizes the Kenyan Precedent

NewsblogAngell: Night Moves
(1 - 5:00pm, Apr 21)
Last: The Duke

NewsblogOT - Catch-All Pop Culture Extravaganza (April - June 2018)
(13 - 4:42pm, Apr 21)
Last: Baldrick

NewsblogCallaway says Harvey might not make his next start after performance in 12-4 loss to Braves
(3 - 4:39pm, Apr 21)
Last: Russlan thinks deGrom is da bomb

NewsblogWhy the drop in home runs in 2018? Major League Baseball had better hope it’s the weather.
(10 - 4:26pm, Apr 21)
Last: This is going to be state of the art wall

Gonfalon CubsHome Sweet Home
(67 - 4:24pm, Apr 21)
Last: Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington

NewsblogPrimer Dugout (and link of the day) 4-20-2018
(31 - 3:17pm, Apr 21)
Last: The Yankee Clapper

Hall of Merit2019 Hall of Merit Ballot Discussion
(105 - 11:10am, Apr 21)
Last: Jaack

NewsblogBryan Price dismissed as Reds manager | MLB.com
(96 - 10:13am, Apr 21)
Last: Edmundo got dem ol' Kozma blues again mama

NewsblogFrankly, my dear, I don't give an OMNICHATTER, for April 20, 2018.
(83 - 8:10am, Apr 21)
Last: cardsfanboy

NewsblogBBTF ANNUAL CENTRAL PARK SOFTBALL GAME 2018
(62 - 6:46am, Apr 21)
Last: Lassus

Page rendered in 0.1151 seconds
47 querie(s) executed