Another distinguished college has been devastated by losses due to J. Ezra Merkin's blind investment pass-through to Ponzi swindler Bernard Madoff. Leon Botstein (pictured) reported the tragic loss from Jerusalem where he serves as the principal conductor of the symphony orchestra.
Bard College Had Losses of $3 Million Tied to Madoff
By Janet Frankston Lorin
Jan. 5 (Bloomberg) -- Bard College, a liberal-arts school in New York State’s Hudson Valley, lost about $3 million in investments related to Bernard Madoff.
The losses involved $11 million of Bard’s $270 million endowment that the college invested in the Ariel Fund, managed by J. Ezra Merkin, Bard President Leon Botstein said today in a telephone interview from Jerusalem. Merkin was introduced to the school by the late Leon Levy, a Bard trustee who founded OppenheimerFunds Inc., and Merkin serves as a governor of Bard’s Levy Economics Institute, Botstein said.
Bard believed about a fourth of its Ariel investment was in cash, Botstein said. Instead, it was invested with Madoff without the school’s knowledge, he said.
“It’s absolutely outrageous,” Botstein said. “We never knowingly invested with Madoff. We invested with Ezra Merkin.”