Thursday, March 12, 2009

So long, Bernard Madoff

So Bernie Madoff, king of the ponzi schemes and perpetrator of the largest investor fraud in history, admitted guilt today and was immediately sent to jail. Yippee.

I know they call it justice. He will, after all, likely spend the rest of his life behind bars. But there are so many victims left behind that it's difficult to ever believe the scales will tilt back toward anything resembling a state of balance. The money, an estimated $65 billion of it, is, for all intents and purposes, gone. The victims, many elderly people, pension funds, charities, have nowhere to turn, nothing to do except sift through the wreckage and try to make it through another day.

He has ruined the present and future for so many people who must now fight to keep food on their tables and a roof over their head. Come to think of it, those are two basic needs Mr. Madoff will never have to worry about again. The irony.

Your thoughts: What do you say to someone like this?

21 comments:

kenju said...

I don't want to say anything to him; I just feel very sorry for all the people he bilked. But part of me says it was partly their fault for being so greedy.

Cloudia said...

Very well said, Carmi.
Sickening!
I can't help wondering what his first night spent in jail - rather than luxury - feels like.
No doubt this "master of the universe" will shed a tear.
The remaining question is whether his guilty plea will keep his family in comfort. If so he may have won after all. . . . Aloha

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

It boggles the mind. Truly evil.

Jeane said...

yes, yipee! - I do believe that he will suffer his deeds in some form, maybe only known to him.

Lynda said...

There's nothing to say really... what could be said that would change one thing? And there we have it... the circle.

Tanna said...

Truthfully, Carmi, I cannot fathom $65 billion. It is just so far beyond anything I can relate or compare to. What I do know is that it does not seem fair... or just. How does that make up for the lives he has wrecked? People who trusted him and he sold them out are going to suffer still. But, what would be fair or just??

Daryl said...

I say dont just lock him up. Make him work every day and then lock him up in jail at night .. 7 days a week .. no time off .. work for pay but the pay goes into escrow toward paying back those he bilked .. I know he can never earn enough to make up all he stole ... and I look forward to his wife being found out to be part of this .. how can people befriend others and steal their entire life savings and feel no remorse .. how does she sleep at night in her fancy home .. which I hope along with all their other property and possessions are confiscated, sold and that money put into the same repayment fund.

An idea that likely wont play out but I like thinking about it.

MileHighDivaCyn said...

Just back to "blog reading" and you are my first choice Carmi.
I hope he enjoys the rest of his life...something tells me he really doesn't feel guilty. It's hard for me to wrap my mind around how evil and nasty this "man" is.

bobbie said...

This one is mind boggling, isn't it? I think the rest of his family (hardly innocents) should also lose their ill gotten gains and at least some of it be restored to those who lost so much. I would think his book-keeping wife should spend some time in jail too.

Mojo said...

He may have "three hots and a cot" provided for him for a while, but I'd still rather be on this side of the wall no matter what my state.

I suppose just how well he's able to empathize with his victims after spending a little time inside will depend a lot on where he's doing his time. Some of the Federal prisons here are pretty nicely appointed, and I suspect that's where a white-collar racketeer like this would wind up.

It won't ever be justice, or even close to it. But at least it's something. And chances are he'll never have the cred to pull it off again. I guess there's something to be said for that at least.

Wordnerd said...

I'm glad he's behind bars, but it's a hollow victory. His victims will never see their money -- their retirement, their investments, their hopes and dreams -- again.

Great post, Carmi.

David said...

today is a day to be glad if you already have nothing, since it can not betaken away. So far there are no new taxes on Firewood, blue skies, or Lake paddling. Cooking in your own kitchen is largely unregulated, to date, as far as I know.

Anonymous said...

With that much money gone...WHERE DID IT ALL GO? http://www.newsy.com/videos/madoff_goes_to_the_big_house/

theMuddledMarketPlace said...

........don't think there's much to say is there?

i Would be interested in listening though..........given a long enough amount of time that would be fascinating

photowannabe said...

Yes it is irony...never thought of it that way. I don't really know how people get sucked into the schemes in the first place. Maybe a little too eager for easy money. Madoff and his family(they certainly aren't innocents)deserve everything thrown at them.

utenzi said...

I wish there was a way to know how much of the billions are still in the hands of the investors. So far there's been no mention of that aspect. Anyone who cashed out over the 20 years of the Ponzi scheme must be really congratulating themselves now. I wonder how many people lucked out and actually made money off of this fraud (other than Madoff and his employees, of course)?

Anonymous said...

The interesting part is his behaviour during the collapse of the scheme.
While he was(is?) a con man, once it all unfolded he did not lie or obfuscate or deny.
He went into his son's offices (who knew nothing of the scheme) and confessed.
He pled guilty so that his wife could keep enough of the albeit ill-gotten gains to live comfortably.
Taking the fall to take care of his family.
While he is admittedly guilty, you also have to wonder about investors who did not care enough about where their profits were coming from.
Legal,illegal,moral,immoral? You will find that most people with vast amounts of riches are unconcerned with whatever wreckage is left in their wake as they sail through life.
AS with most of life, reflect upon the mirror of your own soul before you disparage the image of others.

Dolly Llama
Tibet on the roll of the dice.

David said...

that much money. There must be some hidden somewhere.
send the whole family to prison
public humiliation - stocks
or caning

Jeremiah Andrews said...

I would ask him a few things like, you admitted you knew what you were doing was wrong. Why did you keep doing it? And then I would ask if he had a single compassionate bone in his body for the people he was screwing over in such big ways? I guess he did not have a conscience while he did what he did. Sad that so many will go without for the rest of their lives, because of one man's greed.

PillowNaut said...

I'm with Daryl -- he should have to work every day. In fact, they should make him commute between the houses of his victims to wash their cars, clean their houses, and walk their dogs. As I understand it, they're going after his accountant and his wife, next...

Robert Pummer said...

I have spent years studying these kinds of schemes and am putting up a website where I am working on this.

http://www.rainmakerscam.com

Any feedback you have would be great.