Harvard Retracts Denial of Madoff Connection
by Paul Springer
Here and elsewhere in the media it was reported recently that Bernard Madoff inaccurately represented that he was working on an educational project with Harvard University.
Also widely reported was Harvard’s repudiation of a connection with Madoff.
Now it appears that there was a connection after all.
The New York Times reported that a Harvard professor wrote to Madoff in February with a proposal to do a case study:
A follow-up letter from the professor in late March indicated that Mr. Madoff had agreed to exchange e-mails with the professor, whose name he agreed to keep confidential. The professor, while holding Mr. Madoff to his promise of confidentiality, confirmed that his communication with Mr. Madoff was continuing.
When it first disavowed any connection with Madoff, the university was not aware of the communication, which involves a potential study of white-collar criminals.
The Times offered a certain context for the revelation of Madoff’s rectitude:
Even a hypochondriac occasionally gets sick — and even Bernard L. Madoff, who confessed to running a Ponzi scheme built on decades of lies, occasionally tells the truth.
A spokesman for the university did not have a glib answer when asked about the credibility of work involving a convicted criminal, FOX Business Network says:
The spokesman apologized for his previous blanket denials of the school’s involvement with Madoff, and when asked by FOX Business why any guidance coming from a convicted liar like Madoff might be believable and thus relevant to students, the spokesman answered “good question.”
A good question indeed, but few would quarrel with Madoff’s knowledge of the subject area.
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