Musings of a Dinosaur

A Family Doctor in solo private practice; I may be going the way of the dinosaur, but I'm not dead yet.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Bernie Madoff's Real Crime

As anyone who doesn't live in a hole must know by now, financier and crook Bernard Madoff was taken into custody yesterday for bilking thousands of investors of billions of dollars by way of a giant Ponzi scheme. Obviously the "A" list of victims is replete with folks rending their clothes and screaming for blood. Two of them apparently committed suicide. Here's my take on Bernie's real crime.

So many savvy investors taken in by outrageously favorable returns on their money over ridiculous periods of time; so many multi-millionaires who were so blinded by the opportunity for more-more-more that they arrogantly chose to believe that the old truism, "If it looks too good to be true, it probably is," did not apply to them; all I can say is this:
Bernie's biggest crime was being more greedy than they were.


At Fri Mar 13, 09:58:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

..and getting caught! Maybe he can sell Amway from prison..

Pattie, RN

At Sat Mar 14, 11:01:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"If it looks too good to be true, it probably is,
Kinda like where our healthcare is headed...

At Sat Mar 14, 02:45:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Talk about "blame the victim." Whie it's STUPID not to see the red flags when an investment professional promises outrageous returns, but there's nothing CRIMINAL about giving your money to such a person. It is, however, criminal to take that money for yourself; to engage in a Ponzi scheme, to make false statements to the SEC, etc. etc. etc.

But it's very human to place part of the blame on the victims in such cases, to re-assure ourselves that we'd never do anything so stupid. Because we know for SURE that Vanguard, Fidelity, Charles Schwab, etc., are on the up-and-up, and not Ponzi schemes ready to blow, right?

Kensington MD

At Mon Mar 16, 11:54:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ditto above
Quit blaming the victim dino. This wasn't some used car salesman or Joe's investment bank, this guy had his own world-known organization. Where was the SEC? If this is the SEC's idea of "regulation" I would be worrying about my money at Vanguard and fidelity if I were you Dino.
This says alot more about the lack of regulation and gross unethical greed on wall street than anything else.

At Wed Mar 18, 05:57:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't be so touchy. Educated (in the area of finance) people looked at the prospectus and passed on it, saying it looked too good to be true. Everyone needs to be educated on where and where not to invest. You can demonize him all you want, but it's still a "let the buyer beware market". They were uneducated investors. If the return is extraordinarily high - it's a rotten deal. Dino is right on the money. Pun intended.


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