Bernie Madoff is set to plead guilty to defrauding investors of billions of dollars in assets with a large and complex ponzi scheme. Madoff made millions while continually promising 10% return to his clients who gladly kept giving him money. I heard on the radio this morning a sound byte from one of his victims, who is going to be in the courtroom, saying “I hope he never sees his wife again” and “they should put him into solitary confinement.” Wow. Now don’t get me wrong, Bernie Madoff is a greedy, dishonest, asshole. But is that really the punishment that this woman wants for him taking her money? I think it says a lot about her and probably the people that invested with madoff. We’ve already seen someone commit suicide over the whole thing…it would be easy to blame those things on madoff but really he was just playing the system and playing the people…and for a while, he did it pretty well. I really don’t have a whole lot of sympathy for these people because I think that they suffer from a key fundamental flaw, hubris. They were willing to envision themselves investment insiders, smarter than the rest of us. Content to know they had found the secret to making big money even in a downturned economy. Now, they have been punished. I don’t believe in karma, its against my non-religion…but if I did, this would be sweet. I guess I have the urge to root for the underdog and see the giant fall and in this case we only have giants and they are all going down. The richest of the rich defrauding the others. This isn’t the typical battle cry of Walmart abusing workers, or buying fair trade coffee, this was something sooo much better. This was people too stupid to see past their positions and the check books to realize that what they were doing was STUPID. Unfortunately, Madoff is probably going to get off with a stint in minimum security watchin’ TV and playin’ cards. His family will still be living in his swanky manhattan apartment on their individual “wealth.” Maybe he’ll get some time off for good behavior. Personally I hope we get a real-life shawshank redemption scenario. Madoff running the investment strategy for the guards and warden in exchange for perrier water and 1996 dom perignon. It’s a win-win. Patrick OUT!!!
What I’m Listening Too: “For the Love of Money”