Why do people want to own a piece of Bernie Madoff ? Have his watches on their wrists, baseball jackets on their backs and even his dog bowl on the kitchen floor ? In our 21st century celebrity culture, where fame is no longer built on long term hard work and talent, but is far more instant and comes with the daring, sensational, cleverly marketed and even crazed, a man as immoral as Madoff has a celebrity value. The notorious Wall Street fraudster, whose 65 billion dollar Ponzi scheme has destroyed thousands of investors’ lives and even driven 2 people to suicide, was the ‘star’ of a Manhattan auction this week. Here was a chance to buy into Bernie and Ruth’s billlionaire lifestyle, their jewellery, artworks, china and even Post-It notes from Madoff’s desk. A New York Mets baseball jacket with Madoff embroidered on the back fetched 14,500 dollars. Madoff, who is languishing in a federal prison in North Carolina on a 150 year sentence, has no need of these luxury items anymore. And one wonders what he will make of the news that his dog’s bowl is now an expensive item in someone’s Madoff collection, and his wife’s diamond earrings fetched 70,000 dollars, more than quadrupling its estimate. As he tries to make sense of his new life and all the tragic victims he has left behind, he will have to integrate this extraordinary phenomenon of celebrity into the mix. It’s like these people bought his autograph, and want to show it off, and have a piece of history on display. But who wants such sad, twisted, tragic history in their home? Beats me.