It’s always fun to read about American fraudster Bernie Madoff — mostly because he’s one of the few headline acts of the GFC who didn’t get away with it.

This week’s piece in New York Magazine gave us a glimpse into Bernie’s South Carolina jail cell. Based on interviews with Madoff’s fellow inmates, NY Mag reports that the billion-dollar conman is now a prison “celebrity” who is “past apologising” for his crimes:

He does maintenance work for 14 cents an hour, shares a dinner table with an obsessive-compulsive criminal named Muscles and pays a fellow prisoner to do his laundry for $8 per month.

One fellow convict, bank robber KC White, claims Madoff is scornful about those who lost money in his corrupt Ponzi scheme.

“F-ck my victims,” Madoff is alleged to have declared at one point. “I carried them for 20 years and now I’m doing 150 years.”

That contempt reminds us of something… Oh that’s right, this headline — Banks gorged during crisis:

“As the sagging economy left many Australians in tough circumstances, the banks managed to extract an extra 9 per cent in fee income from consumers and businesses in the 12 months to June 30 last year.

“Reserve Bank data released yesterday showed fees charged to households rose by 3 per cent to $5 billion. Businesses were hit harder, with a 13 per cent jump in non-interest fees to $7.7 billion over the same period.”

Anyone for a banana?

Peter Fray

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