Bernie Madoff Gets 150 Years

 Posted by on June 29, 2009  Add comments
Jun 292009
 

220px-BernardMadoffBernie Madoff always knew he’d be caught.  It couldn’t work.  It was all a bottle of smoke and he knew it.

Madoff mightn’t admit it, but he must have known since the very first day he accepted money from a victim that the whole thing had to collapse.  He’s not a fool.

If you take money from people, promise them returns on their investments, and then just stick their money in your bank account, it’s all going to fall apart eventually.  You have to keep getting more and more investors to pay the original people the profits you promised them, and like all pyramid schemes, those  who come in last are going to be burned.

I think this is a case of monumental denial by one man, but there are other questions I don’t know the answer to.  For instance, did anyone at Chase Bank ask what $170 billion was doing in Madoff’s account?  Did they ask where all this money was coming from?  $170 billion!  What about the low-level staff on the 17th floor where the Ponzi scheme was operating from?  Will their boss, Annette Bongiorno, be charged with anything?

Did his auditors ever look at his dealings?  Did any regulator ever demand to see details of the investments he was supposed to have made on behalf of his clients?  Did any employee of his firm — a hugely influential company on Wall Street — ever wonder where their wages were coming from?  Did anyone in the New York financial community ever talk to anyone else when it must have been obvious to everyone that the entire thing was a fiction?

Hardly.

The whole thing runs on greed and denial which is why the world is now in complete chaos.  After the things we’ve seen over the last year, we now know that Gordon Gekko was a gross misrepresentation of the typical Wall Street financier.  In reality, they’re far worse.

Bernie Madoff set up his first company at the age of 22, and everyone was happy to deal with this flim-flam artist, because at heart they were all the very same as him, just as they still are.  In the end, it was two of his sons who notified the FBI about what Madoff was up to, and I wonder if that could happen here, or even if the authorities would have the wit to respond so quickly when tipped off.

I doubt it.

Madoff seems to be genuinely remorseful, though that’s no comfort to all the people who lost their life savings, their futures and their security in old age because of him.  It’s even less comfort to the families of those who committed suicide having lost all they possessed.

Yet it seems to me that many of these people who signed up with Bernie Madoff on the promise of a fast buck were also in a state of denial.  Bernie Madoff was a man on a treadmill, running faster and faster to stay upright, and in the end, I think he was relieved to fall off.

He’s too old to be running that fast.

_____________________

Elsewhere: The Securities and Exchange Commission knew about the Madoff case as far back as 2004, but the investigation was covered up and a staff member pressurised to leave the job.  Washington Post.

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  8 Responses to “Bernie Madoff Gets 150 Years”

Comments (8)
  1.  

    I heard on an N.P.R. show this morning something that bears thinking about. Namely that the majority of the losers in the Madoff scheme were fairly savvy investors who pretty well had to know, going in, that this was not the most up-and-up proposition, but who figured that they could get in and out with a fat profit before the shit hit the fan. Madoff is a cunt, no question, but so are all the other Geckos who made it possible and who got caught short.

  2.  

    One need only look at whom Madoff associated with to realise how easily he achieved the theft of billions. Look no further than his banker; Chase!

    Google their history.

  3.  

    The thing about a good con job is you convince the punters that are getting a lot for nothing. There is one born every minute. When stung they weep like babies who have just lost their lolly pops.

  4.  

    If this happened here he would plead bad health due to his age plus a possible unfair trial due to negative publicity so there would be no trial . Of course such a scam could never happen in Ireland!!!!

  5.  

    The people that fall for this have no one to blame but themselves its their own greed that caused it

  6.  

    if he had used the money to buy shares in anglo irish, he would have got away with it

  7.  

    Couldn’t be that smart, his perfect get out of jail card was here the whole time.

    All he had to do was pay a flying visit to the Galway Races and ask Bertie the Beggar for a passport while “paying” his respects to the Great Leader at the FF tent.

  8.  

    How about this for Nepotisim: The SEC’s Eric Swanson, who told his underling lawyer to stop looking into Bernie Madoff’s questionable activities in 2004, married Bernie’s niece Shana Madoff in 2007.
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/07/01/AR2009070104223.html

    Of course they knew.

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