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 reaches boiling point with lackluster play 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.  Shoeless 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

BBTF Partner

Support BBTF

donate

Thanks to
Backlasher
for his generous support.

Bookmarks

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Hot Topics

NewsblogSherman: How baseball enticed Dee Gordon to use PEDs
(11 - 12:45pm, Apr 30)
Last: ReggieThomasLives

NewsblogOTP 2016 April 25: Forget politics, baseball season in full gear
(1571 - 12:40pm, Apr 30)
Last: BDC

NewsblogHardball Times: The Doug Mirabelli Trade, an Oral History
(7 - 12:37pm, Apr 30)
Last: ReggieThomasLives

Newsblog2016 New York City Softball Game
(101 - 12:20pm, Apr 30)
Last: JEe (Jason)

NewsblogOT: Soccer March/April 2016
(704 - 11:42am, Apr 30)
Last: Juilin Sandar to Conkling Speedwell (Arjun)

Sox TherapyWe Still Know Nothin'
(68 - 11:31am, Apr 30)
Last: Jose Remains The Most Absurd Thing on the Site

NewsblogFelix Hernandez Is Not Right | FanGraphs Fantasy Baseball
(24 - 10:12am, Apr 30)
Last: bbmck

NewsblogMiami Herald: MLB has suspended Dee Gordon for 80 games after he tested positive for PEDs
(53 - 10:06am, Apr 30)
Last: Booey

NewsblogOT: NBA Playoffs Thread 2016
(953 - 9:54am, Apr 30)
Last: Paul d mobile

NewsblogAstros, Rangers Exploring Carolina League Teams
(1 - 9:19am, Apr 30)
Last: BDC

Hall of MeritMost Meritorious Player: 1992 Ballot
(10 - 7:32am, Apr 30)
Last: bjhanke

Newsblog4-29-16 OMNICHATTER
(205 - 2:27am, Apr 30)
Last: Dan

Sox TherapyGuys Who Are Not Major Leaguers
(42 - 12:41am, Apr 30)
Last: Jose Remains The Most Absurd Thing on the Site

NewsblogTed Cruz the latest victim of politicians trying to talk sports | NBC SportsWorld
(116 - 11:18pm, Apr 29)
Last: ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick

NewsblogPerry: Quintana is Emerging as Second White Sox Ace
(21 - 9:47pm, Apr 29)
Last: Walt Davis

Page rendered in 0.2198 seconds
47 querie(s) executed