After a pretty pleasant morning out this morning, I returned home to reports that Bernard Madoff, author of the biggest Ponzi investment scheme in history, may be about to reach a plea deal with his prosecutors.
Madoff is responsible for total losses to charities, foundations, pension plans, and individual investors that may total more than $56 Billion. For perspective, that’s nearly twice what the government has LOANED to the auto industry. (Note: The AP, shilling once again for the thieves and robbers of Wall Street, reports today that it’s possible the losses are overstated. I doubt it, but they’ll try and tell you it is. What they are doing is valuing the losses at today’s prices instead of yesterday’s.)
Yes, that word was BILLION.
Rumor has it (and yes, it is still rumor, not fact) that Madoff may be willing to reveal his hidden assets in exchange for a deal that allows him to live out his remaining days in his (wife’s) New York penthouse.
As I said on Twitter, I smell the lingering stench of influence and money here. Madoff was, at once time, chairman of the NASDAQ stock exchange, the trading exchange for many tech stocks and IPOs. Simply put, I’m sure he has friends in high places and of course, the benefit of his old age to draw sympathy points.
Sorry, but this is one time I don’t believe in giving any mercy. This man not only robbed people with impunity, he shook the confidence of everyone who turns to an investment manager for advice and made decent, hard-working people like my husband have to prove their decency and honesty over, and over, and over again.
I wonder, could Joe Garcia down the street who just went to jail for shoplifting last week have benefitted from a deal that helped him get to work so he wasn’t stealing clothes for his new baby? But he committed a crime, after all, and has to pay.
Has to pay, that is, unless the sheer gall and magnitude of the crime is so great and reaches so many people, rich, poor, working and unemployed that you somehow deserve a ‘deal’.
Here’s a list of Madoff victims.
My take? The only deal I would be comfortable with is one that places Madoff in either a high security prison or the ninth circle of hell for the rest of his natural days and the afterlife to come.
I like Warner’s take on this too:
Madoff is a big ugly shinning, pus-filled pimple on the wart that is how we have been operating for far too long in our world of so called business. There is real anger out there about his swindling, criminal ways. There is real anger also continuing to build about all things relating to the collapse of the economy. Too many folks are too pissed off about how things have been going with our supposed bailouts, plans, and stimuli, and we’re reaching a boiling point.
- Who will tell our stories?
- The pug is not impressed