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The Root of Madoff’s Evil

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Posted on Jul 1, 2009
AP photo / Louis Lanzano

Bernard Madoff arrives at Manhattan federal court.

By Robert Scheer

How convenient for the judge and the media to paint Bernard Madoff as Mr. Evil, a uniquely venal blight on an otherwise responsible financial industry in which money is handled honestly and with transparency. 

Madoff, sentenced Monday to 150 years in prison for bilking investors of billions, should be exhibit A in why the dark world of totally unregulated private money managers and hedge funds should be opened to the light of systematic government supervision. Instead, he is being treated as an aberrant menace, with the danger removed once the devil incarnate, as his victims describe him, is locked up and the key thrown away. 

For goodness’ sake this was not some sort of weird outsider who flipped out, but rather a key developer of the modern system of electronic trading and a founder and chairman of Nasdaq. Madoff often was called upon to help write the rules on financial regulation and therefore became quite expert at subverting them. 

As Securities and Exchange Commission Inspector General H. David Kotz testified before Congress, the inspector general’s office is looking into “[t]he extent to which the reputation and status of Bernard Madoff, and the fact that he served on SEC Advisory Committees, participated on securities industry boards and panels, and had social and professional relationships with SEC officials, may have affected commission decisions regarding investigations, examinations and inspections of his firm.”

  Those relationships were close (the personal ties included the marriage of one of Madoff’s nieces to an SEC official) and stretched out over the decades during which Madoff was a major player on Wall Street. At the very time back in 1999 when the SEC was being formally warned that a Madoff scam was under way, Madoff was consulting with then-SEC Chairman Arthur Levitt Jr. on regulatory matters. When Levitt retired a year later, Madoff was quoted in the trades as paying tribute to him: “He brought all of us to the negotiating table time and time again, on a whole host of issues, and to a greater extent than any other SEC chairman.”

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Levitt wrote in a January 2009 opinion article in The Wall Street Journal, “I knew Bernie Madoff and had no reason to believe he was not a legitimate market maker, nor did anyone at that time know he was acting as an adviser to outside investors.”

Nor was he required to tell anyone. And even if he had been, it’s unlikely that part of Madoff’s business would have been looked into. In the deregulatory mania of the preceding two decades, it had been assumed that such managers did not need regulating, and funding for the SEC kept getting cut. As Levitt noted in the article, it would only get worse:

“Since 2002, the number of investment advisers—such as Madoff Securities—has increased by 50%. Yet enforcement resources have been flat or even reduced. … As a result, only about 10% of investment advisers can expect to be examined every three years, and the goal of inspecting every adviser once every five years—laughably light oversight in its own right—has been abandoned.”

Money for proper oversight was not allocated because the prevailing ideology regarding private investment firms—embraced by President Bill Clinton ever as fervently as President George W. Bush would later—was the gospel of radical financial deregulation, a practice that has landed us in the larger banking mess. As with the trading in unregulated derivatives, all of the operations of private investor groups, such as hedge funds, were thought not to require government supervision because these were conducted by professional financiers dealing with sophisticated investors who knew what they were doing. If the investment went south, it was on their dime and there would be no innocent victims. 

As we saw with the collapse of AIG and now Madoff, that notion is false because private investment contracts can involve the resources of charitable organizations and pension funds and can end up costing the homes, savings and jobs of ordinary citizens who have no idea of which end of this arcane stuff is up.

When Levitt worked for Clinton as head of the SEC, he teamed up with Alan Greenspan, Robert Rubin and Lawrence Summers to destroy what remained of financial service industry regulation imposed by President Franklin Roosevelt in response to the Great Depression. In recent years Levitt, alone among that gang of four, has criticized that action and accepted some personal responsibility for the subsequent financial meltdown.

He was right again when he stated in his January article: “The Madoff scandal should be a wake-up call for more consistent, uniform, and rigorous regulation of investment advising … the final prod for a fundamental reform of the financial regulatory structure. … ”

He gets it. Let’s hope that Congress does too and is not fooled by the argument of Wall Street lobbyists that Madoff was a lone rotten apple now safely discarded.

Click here to check out Robert Scheer’s book,
“The Great American Stickup: How Reagan Republicans and Clinton Democrats Enriched Wall Street While Mugging Main Street.”


Keep up with Robert Scheer’s latest columns, interviews, tour dates and more at www.truthdig.com/robert_scheer.



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By Inherit The Wind, July 4, 2009 at 8:32 pm Link to this comment

FT,

I GET it!  I didn’t think YOU did!

We are in agreement again (sort of).  This is definitely getting weird.

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By Folktruther, July 4, 2009 at 11:39 am Link to this comment

Inherit, you got Zionism on the brain.  There are other power conspiricies beside zionist conspiracies.  MONEY, Iherit, MONEY.  Think MONEY.  While Sepharad details the tragic loss of Mrs Madoff’s fur coat, there may be billions of dollars involved somewhere.  And this conspiracy may reveal one way that Wall Street robs the American people.

But Zionists don’t want it revealed because it may reflect unfavorable on Israel.  Most important, Wall Street doesn’t want it revealed because in reflects unfavoably on Wall Street MONEY.  Zionists are merely doning neoliberal MONEY’s bidding in this case, as in so many others.

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By ardee, July 4, 2009 at 4:50 am Link to this comment

Sepharad, July 4 at 1:59 am #

Inherit & Folktruther, Read today that Mrs. Madoff tried to dissuade the sheriff from taking possession of their penthouse, unsuccessfully, then tried to leave wearing her fur coat, also unsuccessfully. Whoever is protecting the Madoffs isn’t doing a teriffic job. (Not that they deserve protecting.)
......................................

It isnt the individual that is being protected here, in my opinion, in fact Madoff is a distraction to the real and continuing theft going on throughout our financial and business communities.

While the public is thrown the bone of an absurd prison sentence so Joe Average can say that he got what he deserved, nothing is being done about the real and underlying dishonesty that continues unabated.

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By liecatcher, July 4, 2009 at 12:26 am Link to this comment

To: Inherit The Wind, July 3 at 11:20 pm

Hey ITW:

You asked:

  Why did Wall Street do that?  Why support a conspirarcy like this for two decades? Inquiring minds want to know.

You are just a few clicks away from the answer. Start with:

THE HOUSE OF ROTHSCHILD

by David Allen Rivera http://www.viewfromthewall.com

Then go to:

http://www.rollingstone.com/search?query=GOLDMAN+SACHS&type;=&search=Search

& read & listen to:  Matt Taibbi       The Great American Bubble Machine & then:

Matt Taibbi Runs Down Goldman Sachs Graduates with Government ...

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By Sepharad, July 3, 2009 at 10:59 pm Link to this comment

Inherit & Folktruther, Read today that Mrs. Madoff tried to dissuade the sheriff from taking possession of their penthouse, unsuccessfully, then tried to leave wearing her fur coat, also unsuccessfully. Whoever is protecting the Madoffs isn’t doing a teriffic job. (Not that they deserve protecting.)

Report this

By Inherit The Wind, July 3, 2009 at 8:20 pm Link to this comment

Folktruther, July 3 at 3:42 pm #

What are you talking about, Inherit, Madoff IS a conspiracy, an enormous conspiracy. Which he was not charged with, which would have allowed them to question what happened to the loot.

And it was supported by all of Wall Street.  And they were united by money not religion or ethnicity.  The head of the SEC, Cox, turned a blind eye to a number of persuasive people, especially a financial guy with a Greek name.  His chief investigator of Madoff had a relationship with Madoff’s neice and married her.  He was in effect investigating his putative uncle.

Why?  Why did Wall Street do that?  Why support a conspirarcy like this for two decades? Inquiring minds want to know.
**********************************

Don’t tell me you TOO think AIPAC, Mossad and the Zionists are behind THIS, too??????

I don’t know if Madoff is the point of the arrow of a vast conspiracy of MONEY (not Israel) or merely he’s the infection that hit the wound the deregulation and failure to enforce regulations opened and exploited it.

Remember: Ponzi based his scheme on an arbitrage of buying postage in one country and cashing it in in the USA.  Plus, Ponzi was a multiple convict BEFORE his biggie started, and after it ended. He cheated and stole because that is what Charles/Carlo Ponzi did.

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By Volma, July 3, 2009 at 12:44 pm Link to this comment

I agree with what Robert Scheer is trying to point out…I also think along the lines of coloradocarl, and others who view the American financial system as one big ponzy scheme, ran by millions of swindlers, world wide for their own wealth, and never ending greed…Madoff is the poster boy scapegoat for the rich….

scape?goat
??/?ske?p?go?t/ Show Spelled Pronunciation [skeyp-goht] Show IPA
Use scapegoat in a Sentence
–noun
1.    a person or group made to bear the blame for others or to suffer in their place.
2.    Chiefly Biblical. a goat let loose in the wilderness on Yom Kippur after the high priest symbolically laid the sins of the people on its head. Lev. 16:8,10,26.

Well, I will never steal millions from (greedy, make millions off the death, blood, sweat and labor of the poor) the rich elite….Making an example of this man, satisfied my blood lusty hate for the rich and greedy investors and bankers of the US…(sarcasm…)

Child molesters, murderers, and thief’s, do not get this kind of sentence, unless of course their victim’s were rich… And yet some of the most evil, villains, even worse than Hitler, are free, and will never be charged with their crimes to humanity, world wide….

Israel’s crimes against the Palestinian people, 911, Iraq Pakistan, and the impending possible murder of thousands of innocents in Iran, and who knows what and where else….???

We really do live in upside down land, inside out, what ever, Topsy Turvy…Humanity is truely at a all time low, ran by evil, pain and greed, out of control, insane, borderline total self destruction of innocence and evil ...
Just say No to the NEW WORLD ORDER….It worked for the War on Drugs, didn’t it????

My brain actually hurts when I see what is going on, and in every way I can think of, there is no real viable organization that can unify, stand solid and actually change the way things are…

The web of lies and power have permeated everything, created disharmony, us against them, narrow agenda’s where people here in the US are more likely to kill and jail each other than go after the real evil….

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By Folktruther, July 3, 2009 at 12:42 pm Link to this comment

What are you talking about, Inherit, Madoff IS a conspiracy, an enormous conspiracy. Which he was not charged with, which would have allowed them to question what happened to the loot.

And it was supported by all of Wall Street.  And they were united by money not religion or ethnicity.  The head of the SEC, Cox, turned a blind eye to a number of persuasive people, especially a financial guy with a Greek name.  His chief investigator of Madoff had a relationship with Madoff’s neice and married her.  He was in effect investigating his putative uncle.

Why?  Why did Wall Street do that?  Why support a conspirarcy like this for two decades? Inquiring minds want to know.

Report this

By Inherit The Wind, July 3, 2009 at 12:26 pm Link to this comment

FT,
You are making more sense than usual. I don’t know if Bernie will die in prison…but he deserves to never be free again. “Deserves” and “Gets” are two different things.

And sometimes, like Freud said, a cigar is just a cigar.  To reinforce what you said that for Madoff, it was all about getting the money and power and seeing if he could get it ALL before he died. 

But some people see conspiracies in EVERYTHING!

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By Folktruther, July 3, 2009 at 9:07 am Link to this comment

Sepharad, they have forty some boxes of buy and sell orders going back to the early1990’s that are fraudulent. None of those stocks were bought and sold.  therefore there were billions of dollars invested somewhere until Madoff paid out his twelve percent to investors.  Where?  The question doesn’t seem to have occurred to the regulatory or legal authorities.  It apparently hasn’t occurred to you. 

Why? another question that hasn’t been answered.  Why is everyone protecting him?  I think the answer has more to do with money than with Zionism.

Report this

By rockinrobin, July 2, 2009 at 11:52 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

the $ of course is where all of theirs is: in off shore accounts; c’on FOLKS: the $900 TRILLION they “lost” as well, is POCKET CHANGE to these folks; SAME FOLKS owning the large plantations went to politicians, bribed them & said hey hey hey let’s do it THIS way instead: THIS began the “supposed” 2 party system: they are bullies, tyrants, & corrupt to the core. LOOK: Oil: was FORCED down our throats; it is used in EVERYTHING: plastics, etc; the PEOPLE objected 97 per cent: did NOT want; it will BE as WE make MEGA TRILLIONS off it; then the PEOPLE are BLAMED; and have to PAY AGAIN for the CLEAN UP; SUPPRESSED technology: cuz they want MORE MORE MORE $; NO ONE would TOUCH the food you eat; in ANY NATION: it is so CONTAMINATED: with CHEMICALS to HARM you to make MORE $ for THEM. They will NEVER have enough; in PET FOOD: they use EUTHENIZED ANIMALS; SAME WITH MAD COW disease; they GRIND UP diseased cows: and the PUBLIC IS FED IT; cuz the CHEMICAL COMPANIES, THE PHARMAS, ALL THE MAJOR Corps operate with the GOV; who of course does “price control” and TELLS YOU prices are going ‘up up up; in reality they are simply POCKETING MORE $; and the PEOPLE do NOTHING! they ACCEPT the LIES that “we are broke”; they accept the LAWS and do NOTHING. THIS nation ABUSES and OPPRESSES and CAUSES MORE DAMAGE to it’s people: yet they WILLINGLY go off to other countries to FORCE this DOWN THEIR THROATS.
FAIR TRADE helps the PEOPLE and the ENVIRONMENT;
FREE TRADE helps the SAME CORPS: and the deliberate targeting and killing of Colombian’s & other countries PEOPLE can be traced to POLITICIANS & the WHITE HOUSE in the USA;
The great “do nothing” enslaved, purposely poisoned at every opportunity: it is NOT capitalism that is the PROBLEM: it is EXPLOITATION: and a CORRUPT GOV that is RUN CRIMINALLY: EXPLOITATION is a CRIME: and of course the PEOPLE who do NOTHING (except in OTHER countries to force THEM into the SAME ENSLAVEMENT to CRIMINALS as is done HERE!

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By Sepharad, July 2, 2009 at 9:47 pm Link to this comment

Folktruther, I don’t believe in the tooth fairy but I do think it’s possible that Madoff’s incredible arrogance kept him digging a deeper hole instead of stopping when he realized the bubble was going to pop sooner or later. Only explanation I can think of is that he knew he was finished and wanted to hang on to the lifestyle as long as possible and be as old as possible when he would be sentenced to life in jail. He thought he was the smartest guy in the room, like the Enron punks, but wasn’t and couldn’t admit it.

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By Folktruther, July 2, 2009 at 8:50 pm Link to this comment

Want to bet, Inherit?  You have to believe in the tooth fairy to believe a savvy operation like Madoff is broke after handling tens of billiions of dollars.  He most likely is still directing the remains of his operation like other gangster heads do.  He most likely will be out in a few years.

a French article already questions why the bullshit of a 150 year sentence when no questions are asked of him and his family about his operation.  It was NOT a simple Ponzi scheme, he invested the money somewhee in something other than his fake buy and sell stock orders.  For two decades.  The questions that are not being asked is where and in what.  He and his family are still being protected by elements of the US power structure.  Why?

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By Inherit The Wind, July 2, 2009 at 7:13 pm Link to this comment

My husband wondered, more concretely—he values personal freedom more than most anything—what it would be like to go from buying $2,000 cashmere slacks and far-flung homes and yachts to a maximum security cell.
***************************************

Probably about as lousy as going from buying $40 trousers and a vacation on the beach to a maximum security cell.

At least Madoff’s retirement is secure.  He’ll not need to worry about making the rent or getting enough to eat. He’ll probably not be lonely either….... Of course his days of Kobe beef and arugula and crepes suzette are over.

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By Sepharad, July 2, 2009 at 6:30 pm Link to this comment

ardee, nefesh, Inherit and even Folktruther (for your anti-elitism stand)—good comments. I am gradually coming down from my Savtah cloud—- Hebrew for grandma—and have started to read Jonah Goldberg’s “Liberal Fascism”, hoping it will give me more perspective on some of the confusing positions I read here.

On Madoff—Agree with Tao; Madoff is just a symptom of radically misguided non-regulated financial activity, and I hope Levitt’s turnaround will influence people with the power to do something about it. Even with financial regs, there will always be Ponzi schemes—hell, isn’t that how investment banking more or less functions?—always people wanting to make more profit than anyone else. My husband wondered, more concretely—he values personal freedom more than most anything—what it would be like to go from buying $2,000 cashmere slacks and far-flung homes and yachts to a maximum security cell.

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By KDelphi, July 2, 2009 at 5:51 pm Link to this comment

Eco-Socialism

“Savage Capitalism - the Ecosocialist Alternative”
Socialist Resistance
http://www.internationalviewpoint.org/spip.php?article1311

http://www.newsocialist.org/index.php?id=1321

“Capitalist production, in its endless search for profit, seeks to turn everything into a commodity. Only in this way can accumulation continuously expand. By releasing us from the tyranny of private ownership of the means of production, socialism, whether of the first-epoch variety or as ecosocialism, makes it possible to interrupt the deadly tendency of cancerous growth, which is effectively driven by the competition between capitals for ever greater market share. But this leaves open the question of just what will be produced, and how, within an ecosocialist society….

...It is plain that production will have to shift from being dominated by exchange—the path of the commodity—to that which is for use, that is for the direct meeting of human needs. But this in turn requires definition, and in the context of ecological crisis…”

More at:

http://www.ecosocialistnetwork.org/

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By ardee, July 2, 2009 at 5:43 pm Link to this comment

A troll is a member of a race of fearsome creatures from Norse mythology. Originally more or less the Nordic equivalents of giants, although often smaller in size, the different depictions have come to range from the fiendish giants – similar to the ogres of England (also called Trolls at times, see Troller’s Gill) – to a devious, more human-like folk of the wilderness, living underground in hills, caves or mounds. In the Faroe islands, Orkney and Shetland tales, trolls are called trows, adopted from the Norse language when these islands were settled by Vikings.

Nordic literature, art and music from the romantic era and onwards has adapted trolls in various manners – often in the form of an aboriginal race, endowed with oversized ears and noses. From here, as well as from Scandinavian fairy tales such as Three Billy Goats Gruff, trolls have achieved international recognition, and in modern fantasy literature and role-playing games, trolls are featured to the extent of being stock characters.

Nefesh, why insult the entire troll race in this fashion with a comparison to that brainfart of a poster?

You know, if it wasnt for your indefensible defense of Israel we might get along famously….

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By nefesh, July 2, 2009 at 5:38 pm Link to this comment

By Virginia777, July 2 at 6:21 pm #

ITW: shut up you lousy, self-serving troll. Go eat your AIPAC ice cream cone (double-dipped).

Trolls are under-appreciated, BTW.
We are unionized, we are small and nimble, we live in the forest, and are therefore much closer to nature than city dwellers, and, unlike you, Virginia, know the value of real work, and do not denigrate those who do it.

Don’t you see the irony of exposing your elitist chauvanism? You, the wannabe-champion of “progressive” causes, commit the cardinal sin of spitting on the working class. {{{laughing now}}}

Which begs the question: Are you a phony or just an incoherent bobblehead?

What do you say, Virginia?

Report this

By Inherit The Wind, July 2, 2009 at 5:06 pm Link to this comment

Virginia777, July 2 at 6:58 pm #

nefesh: Oh yes, it most definitely is.

You are a bunch of 24/7 troublemakers here on Truthdig,

here to make trouble, in tandem.

Which is why I am asking Folktruther, why is he even talking to you fiends?

and more, why would he defend the worst one of you? (ardee)
******************************************

Yeah, let your inner censorship-craving fascist shithead out, “Ginny”!  That’s really what you are—because you are a coward and a spoiled brat who can dish it out, but YOU CAN’T TAKE IT!

I was here on TruthDig LONG before you EVER posted your first snot-nose dig as someone.  FT and I were battling LONG before YOU ever showed up. I battled with Robert and Patrick Henry and Ed Harges, long before you ever put one of your stinking fart-like toads on-line here.

And I’M the troll, you little pusillanimous fascist gnome?

Now go whine and stamp your little feet about the “zionist bullies”, you Tantrum Queen of TD.  And beg for us to be censored.  Notice Ed Harges, who generally detests me and whom I generally feel the same about, told you: “No fuckin’ way!”  He just was nicer, but REFUSED to attempt to censor me.

“Oh, if anybody says anything bad about ME, I’ll just DIE from shame!”  Then you go and make an elitist crap remark about RD driving a forklift….And you WONDER why FolkTruther sides with ArDee on that?  FT is a true neo-Marxist…that means he actually RESPECTS people who work with their hands.  We don’t have much in common, FT and I—but we agree on that.

Why do you think he’s been silent towards you? I wish I were in his position, too, so I wouldn’t have to clean up all this SHIT you are throwing around!

You can’t take what you dish out! Until you do, STFU!  Guys like FT and EH who SHARE your political views, will, rightfully, let you swing in the wind until you learn to do not unto others what you would not have them do unto you!

I can take whatever you throw at me. It’s clear you can’t take it back so you scream for censorship.  Fascist gnome.

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By msg, July 2, 2009 at 4:54 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Former SEC Chair Christopher COX should have taken the fall with Madoff as a co-conspirator. Also, the SEC should not be a stepping stone for SEC regulators to Wall Street. That is a conflict of interest. The SEC needs to be restructured in order to employ career regulators or restrict the none career regulators from Wall Street jobs by instituting a mandatory 3 year waiting period.

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By nefesh, July 2, 2009 at 4:32 pm Link to this comment

By truedigger3, July 2 at 7:22 pm #

We have a single party which is the corporatist party which his primary and foremost mission is to serve corporate desires first.

Jeeez, you’ve left out the Zionists. Don’t they pull the strings of the ‘corporatist party’ with all their media control and banking subterfuge? Tell us how the Zionists get the ‘corporatists’ to do their bidding, please.

Even Hitler-quoting Folktruther knows all about the Zionists. He’s got them so frickin’ pegged he’s got to be an insider, you know, like an AIPAC agent, to know all the stuff he knows. Someone is handling him and feeding him the real info on Zionist machinations, that much is obvious.

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By truedigger3, July 2, 2009 at 4:22 pm Link to this comment

ITW wrote:
“Yes, Mr. Madoff is only a symptom, nothing more than an opportunistic infection that could NEVER have occurred if the Reagan/Bush/Bush cabal hadn’t made it possible”
_____________________________________________________

No, ITW, No. The correct sequence is Carter/Reagan/
Bush/ Clinton/Bush Cabal.
Deregulation started with Carter, when he deregulated Airlines and Trucking and continued on, since then without stop.
It didn’t make any difference, who was the president , a Democrat or a Republican, or who controlled the cogress the Democrats or the Repubicans. We have a single party which is the corporatist party which his primary and foremost mission is to serve corporate desires first.
The current economic debacle started during Clinton, when Rubins and Phil Gramm deregulated the financial markets and repealed Glass-Steagal act that seperated investing and commercial banking.
Clinton signed that repeal Bill.

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By Folktruther, July 2, 2009 at 4:02 pm Link to this comment

Hippie4ever, that’s Anrcissie’s idea about cooperatives, but ones that are conmmerciallly viable, growing up int he cracks of capitalism.  But they have to be united and integrated some way to defend themselves and to serve as a political force.  But how can they be integrated without destroying the basic idea of people owned cooperatives? 

I don’t know but I don’t see why the hitorical problaem is not amenable to a solution.  According to one article, there are a hundrem imillion people working in coopratives around the world.

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By Virginia777, July 2, 2009 at 3:58 pm Link to this comment

nefesh: Oh yes, it most definitely is.

You are a bunch of 24/7 troublemakers here on Truthdig,

here to make trouble, in tandem.

Which is why I am asking Folktruther, why is he even talking to you fiends?

and more, why would he defend the worst one of you? (ardee)

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By nefesh, July 2, 2009 at 3:30 pm Link to this comment

By Virginia777, July 2 at 6:21 pm #

FT: again, note how quickly all three trolls to appeared to defend each other, these guys have Truthdig wired!

It’s a conspiracy, I tell ya, a conspiracy!!!

LOL

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By Virginia777, July 2, 2009 at 3:21 pm Link to this comment

ITW: shut up you lousy, self-serving troll. Go eat your AIPAC ice cream cone (double-dipped).

FT: again, note how quickly all three trolls to appeared to defend each other, these guys have Truthdig wired!

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By nefesh, July 2, 2009 at 2:40 pm Link to this comment

By Folktruther, July 2 at 4:38 pm #

I don’t think any of you ae trolls, except Nefish.  But clearly my forte is not diplonacy.

Nor is it spelling.

Don’t you have another heartwarming Adolf Hitler homily to share with us?

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Outraged's avatar

By Outraged, July 2, 2009 at 2:21 pm Link to this comment

Article quote: “How convenient for the judge and the media to paint Bernard Madoff as Mr. Evil, a uniquely venal blight on an otherwise responsible financial industry in which money is handled honestly and with transparency.”

Absolutely….. as if this one lone man upended the whole economy, they do like their scapegoats don’t they…. it appears Mr. Madoff ripped off a couple of the wrong people, wouldn’t it be nice to see the rest of them right next door to Mr. Madoff’s new living arrangement….

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By hippie4ever, July 2, 2009 at 2:15 pm Link to this comment

What should replace Capitalism now that it’s proven itself degenerate and nonsustainable?

Do we need to have money for social ranking? Isn’t that really all money does? There’s the “A” group, “B” group, etc. Can we ever move past this organisation and consider another, such as “social credits” for work done for the benefit of others?

Must we have so many possessions that we rent additional storage space for the overflow?

And why are teachers paid an insulting salary while sociopathic CEOs “earn” hundreds and hundreds of millions? It seems like the less someone knows, the less he does and the more he’s paid. Is this rational?

I think about these issues a lot because I see more poor people, more boarded-up businesses, more foreclosure signs and it hasn’t even hit bottom. Maybe the economy is now bankrupt and the dollar won’t buy squat.

What will we do? I like the idea of collectives—getting a small group (or two small families) to occupy these vast empty houses. Use the yard to grow food, one collectivist tends to daycare, another to the garden, another has an outside job and yet another has a part-time job and a home internet business.

The kids may end up being home schooled but through networking this might provide a better education than provided at the public school. Still, the collectives must pay taxes or no social services will exist. We’re facing this right now in California and other states are in deep trouble too.

One thing I know is true: we’ll get no reform out of Washington and frankly, the American people are mostly sheeple and do what they’re told. I think we’re completely on our own, which can be terribly hard or can bring great opportunity.

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By Inherit The Wind, July 2, 2009 at 2:15 pm Link to this comment

Virginia777, July 2 at 4:58 pm #

FT:

Note how quickly all three trolls come to each other’s defense.

They are hanging onto this site every second.
**********************************************

Still not accepting responsibility for starting the shit-storm you’ve landed in, oh Tantrum Queen of Truthdig?  And starting it for no reason other than your own sick need to shit on everyone, trying DESPERATELY to show how smart you are….

And notice how none of “The Contingent” are any longer in a hurry to bail you out?  Even FT has had enough of you—and said so.

So if you’re feelin’ lonely and ganged-up on, well, you brought it on yourself, “Ginny”.

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By Inherit The Wind, July 2, 2009 at 2:01 pm Link to this comment

TAO Walker, July 2 at 4:50 pm #

Best face it, Sisters and Brothers.  Bernard Madoff and his “evil,” along with the entire “financial crisis,” in-fact, are merely symptoms of something much deeper and more degenerative in this congeries of ills afflicting “modern” domesticated people.  Besides, even the ‘scale’ of these things is all relative anyhow, afterall.

So saddling some scapegoat with some superficialities, and driving that one out into the ‘desert’ of opprobium and incarceration, might give his fella and gal miscreants a little temporary ‘relief’ from having to deal with their own complicity in his ‘crimes.’  It comes nowhere near addressing the rotten core of the “global” CONceit upon which those so-far unapprehended accomplices (you know who you are) still expect to somehow navigate the worst-to-come stretches of Shit Creek in their disintegrating paper canoe.

Madoff, Amigos, is only the bird-lime on the tip of the tip of the tip of the tip of the iceberg that has already fatally holed this ship of fools called “civilization.”  Everybody into The Pool!

HokaHey!
***************************************

Nice post, Tao!  I usually don’t understand a d*** thing you are saying but this one made a lot of sense to me.  Yes, Mr. Madoff is only a symptom, nothing more than an opportunistic infection that could NEVER have occurred if the Reagan/Bush/Bush cabal hadn’t made it possible.

100% correct.

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By Virginia777, July 2, 2009 at 1:58 pm Link to this comment

FT:

Note how quickly all three trolls come to each other’s defense.

They are hanging onto this site every second.

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By Inherit The Wind, July 2, 2009 at 1:56 pm Link to this comment

Virginia777, July 2 at 4:47 pm #

and you shut up too, Inherit the Wind, you lousy troll
*******************************************

And if I don’t I’m just a mean old bully…WAH!!!!

Troll, you @$$hole? I’ve been posting here and crossing swords with Folktruther far longer than YOU have been around, “Ginny”! 

Your nasty little toads that you drop for no reason mark YOU as the troll, lady/fella, not me!  But you are so small-minded I think of you more as a gremlin than a troll.

I’ve taken far smarter and tougher and meaner posters to task than you, little gremlin.  And I can take what I dish out and more, too!  Unlike you, the Tantrum Queen of Truthdig.

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By TAO Walker, July 2, 2009 at 1:50 pm Link to this comment

Best face it, Sisters and Brothers.  Bernard Madoff and his “evil,” along with the entire “financial crisis,” in-fact, are merely symptoms of something much deeper and more degenerative in this congeries of ills afflicting “modern” domesticated people.  Besides, even the ‘scale’ of these things is all relative anyhow, afterall. 

So saddling some scapegoat with some superficialities, and driving that one out into the ‘desert’ of opprobium and incarceration, might give his fella and gal miscreants a little temporary ‘relief’ from having to deal with their own complicity in his ‘crimes.’  It comes nowhere near addressing the rotten core of the “global” CONceit upon which those so-far unapprehended accomplices (you know who you are) still expect to somehow navigate the worst-to-come stretches of Shit Creek in their disintegrating paper canoe.

Madoff, Amigos, is only the bird-lime on the tip of the tip of the tip of the tip of the iceberg that has already fatally holed this ship of fools called “civilization.”  Everybody into The Pool!

HokaHey!

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By Virginia777, July 2, 2009 at 1:47 pm Link to this comment

and you shut up too, Inherit the Wind, you lousy troll

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By Virginia777, July 2, 2009 at 1:46 pm Link to this comment

Folktruther - How can you think Ardee is not a troll? didn’t you witness the way he dug into Ed Harges? (and other good commentators?)

only trolls do that.

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By Folktruther, July 2, 2009 at 1:38 pm Link to this comment

I don’t think any of you ae trolls, except Nefish.  But clearly my forte is not diplonacy.

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By Inherit The Wind, July 2, 2009 at 1:31 pm Link to this comment

My apologies, FT: Clearly you too have had enough of Virgin666 nastygrams, especially the elitist ones sneering at forklift operators. (Not that I want to be one—but one has to respect The Trades). I’ve been a carpenter swinging a hammer in the redneck summer North Carolina sun, and I’ve driven a desk and a computer as well, and worn a jacket and tie to work.

ALL honest work is valid.  Nothing so phony as an elitist “Progressive” like “Ginny”.

So, again, apologies to you on this FT—I had missed that part.

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By Spiritgirl, July 2, 2009 at 1:31 pm Link to this comment

While Lincoln may have appealed to “the better angel of our nature” in his Inaugural address, the truth (especially over the last few decades) is avarice is in control think: ENRON, WorldComm, Duke Energy, Adelphia Communications, Jack Abramoff, ad nauseum!  These are not just “isolated incidents” as they have been labeled!  What is really is is “THE CORPORATE OLIGARCHY GONE WILD”!

These are deliberate acts perpetrated against we the people by the Corporate estate - why - more money, more power, all to bring the “average Joe” back to serfdom!  Do you people not understand where the word “CONSERVATIVE” comes from - it is to conserve the old order and was an attempt by the RICH to bring back the monarchy - again to ensure that everyone else continued to live in serfdom!!!

What part of this do most of you not see, how can you not connect the dots!!!  White, African-American, Asian, Latino, it does not matter - if you don’t have at least 7 zeros before the decimal point in your bank account - you do not qualify to be in the club!  Think about it!

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By Inherit The Wind, July 2, 2009 at 1:25 pm Link to this comment

Virginia777, July 2 at 1:32 pm #

Why ardee, what are you doing here? why aren’t you driving your forklift (or whatever day job you claimed to have)?

and Folktruther, why are you defending ardee?? (have you not read his trash talk on other commentators here?)
****************************************

And here is the Virgin666 dropping ANOTHER un-instigated toad on someone, and without anything valid to contribute.

Then, when someone appropriately puts him/her down for being the SHIT she/he is, posting toads like this, “Ginny” will then whine and tantrum about the “bullies” picking on him/her.

“Ginny”, you post shit like this, you deserve to get ripped a new @$$hole. Period.  Either deal with it and grow a thicker skin or STFU and stop posting toads!  You can’t be a spoiled brat all your life. 

So, FT—why are you defending “Ginny” again?

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By Virginia777, July 2, 2009 at 1:16 pm Link to this comment

and ardee must have a i-phone in his forklift (yeah right!)

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By Virginia777, July 2, 2009 at 1:15 pm Link to this comment

Shut up, ardee and nefesh, you stupid trolls.

and Folktruther, you are keeping (and defending) strange company these days.

why?

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By ardee, July 2, 2009 at 12:08 pm Link to this comment

nefesh, July 2 at 2:03 pm #


By Virginia777, July 2 at 1:32 pm #

Why ardee, what are you doing here? why aren’t you driving your forklift (or whatever day job you claimed to have)?

Is that any way for a so-called “Progressive” to talk about someons’s job? As if driving a forklift defines the individual? Are you such a Progressive Snob that you think actually working an honest job for a living is beneath contempt? How incredibly elitist and condescending of you, Virginia. You sound like a rich bitch who hasn’t worked a day in her life.

........................

I thank you for the defense, but think it a waste of your time to even speak to this troll. We are currently experiencing a rash of such mouth breathers here, sadly.

By the by, I drive a tractor trailor but use a fork lift to load and unload…thanks for asking, troll.

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By nefesh, July 2, 2009 at 11:55 am Link to this comment

By Folktruther, July 2 at 2:36 pm #

Hitlet said,  A brave man with a club is stronger than ten cowards with guns.

Out of all the possible quotes to choose from, you pick one from Adolph Hitler. Why am I not surprised that the same guy who thinks a torrent of Jew-hating rhetoric is “inadvertant” would pick Hitler to quote. We can now add ‘Hitler-quoting’ to your growing list of unfavorable adjectivals.

=========================

I am not in favor of Hitler…

Way to stake out a position, there.
You claim you are not in favor of Hitler, but are you against what he did and stood for?

You easily trump Virginia for the most consistently jack-assed statements on Truthdig, and trust me, that’s an achievement.

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By Folktruther, July 2, 2009 at 11:36 am Link to this comment

Virgina, I get a kick out your comments but you have to take a more dispassionate political view.  People say things sometimes that are true and sometimes they are not true.  Hitlet said,  A brave man with a club is stronger than ten cowards with guns.  I am not in favor of Hitler, but I am in favor of truth, no matter who says it.  Because it is my opinion that that is what the American people most need now.

You and ardee are on the same side politically, or would be if you argued for a few years.  You are basically on the side of the population against oppresive power, as I am.  But there are deviations.  Should these be taken personally?

And what’s wrong with driving a forklift, as Nefesh, the bloodthirsty Zionist, points out.  I fear this is the bourgeois Elitism speaking.  If you drove a semi for a little while, as women are beginning to do, you would not speak slightingly of honest and skilled work.

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By tman, July 2, 2009 at 11:04 am Link to this comment

The U.S. should adopt the Chinese way of dealing with the thieves. Immediate execution for all involved by firing squad. No exceptions. All gains to be forfeited and sold off for reparations to the victims.

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By nefesh, July 2, 2009 at 11:03 am Link to this comment

By Virginia777, July 2 at 1:32 pm #

Why ardee, what are you doing here? why aren’t you driving your forklift (or whatever day job you claimed to have)?

Is that any way for a so-called “Progressive” to talk about someons’s job? As if driving a forklift defines the individual? Are you such a Progressive Snob that you think actually working an honest job for a living is beneath contempt? How incredibly elitist and condescending of you, Virginia. You sound like a rich bitch who hasn’t worked a day in her life.
============================

...why are you defending ardee?? (have you not read his trash talk on other commentators here?)

You accuse ardee of trash talk even as you trash him in the very same comment?

This is why I look forward to what you write, Virginia - it has to be seen to be believed.

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By nefesh, July 2, 2009 at 10:53 am Link to this comment

By Folktruther, July 2 at 1:28 pm #

Prole, ardee is right, your comments are anti-semitc, probably inadvertantly.

“Probably inadvertantly”? How can someone “inadvertantly” put together a string of poisonous and hate-filled bigoted statements in one long paragraph which includes:

“an endless parade of shifty Shylocks”

“to Genesis and the famous apple”

“The ‘chosen people’ have always got a gimlet eye for the main chance”

“If they’re not stealing your land, they’re stealing your savings.”

“pursuit of fleecing the goyim”

“The Four Horseman of the Apocalypse - and every one of them descended from Shem!” (meaning: all of them Jews)

“Rubins and Summers and Volkers and Greenspans and other ‘devils incarnate’ that are still pulling the strings in the world’s biggest Jewish state” (singling out Jews, again)

“preying on other greedy Jews like himself”

“whiny West Palm snobs that lost many of their excess millions” (clearly referencing Jews in Florida)

“holocaust industry shil Elie Wiesel”

..........and more I didn’t even bother to copy…...


Folktruther, you have unmasked yourself (again), trying so lamely to run some interference for your bigoted brother.

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By Virginia777, July 2, 2009 at 10:32 am Link to this comment

Why ardee, what are you doing here? why aren’t you driving your forklift (or whatever day job you claimed to have)?

and Folktruther, why are you defending ardee?? (have you not read his trash talk on other commentators here?)

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By Folktruther, July 2, 2009 at 10:28 am Link to this comment

Prole, ardee is right, your comments are anti-semitc, probably inadvertantly.  Most of the ruling class issn’t Jewish and they are protecting him.  Not because they love Jews but because they love money.  It is necessary to distuingish anti-zionism from anti-semitism, which has been inherited in the Wests religious and cultrual tradition.

truthdigger3, Madoff’s scheme was frankly fraudulent.  He posted by and sell orders for two decades that were non-existent.  The money was invested somewhere else.

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By M Currey, July 2, 2009 at 9:21 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

People steal until there is not anything left to steal, the powers that be all thought that the real estate market will allways go up that might be so for the short run but how can you have a house when you earn minimum wage at a dead end job?  Someone put something in the water for people to live on hope only.

Jobs were being replaced by service jobs like making coffee and selling items not made in the United States this situation could only last so long and now there will be a recession coming, even Obama cannot change water into wine.

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By Big B, July 2, 2009 at 8:22 am Link to this comment

Don’t forget folks, our entire government and economy is just one giant ponzi scheme. Every year we pay money into the pot to make up for the money lost by the previous deal. The problem is that the money coming in can longer pay for the money that has gone out. So like all ponzi scheme’s, we are doomed to fail. Somebody’s got to be left holding the bag. And guess what, it is us.

(Pogo once said “we have seen the enemy, and he is us”)

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By truedigger3, July 2, 2009 at 3:31 am Link to this comment

In my opinion, Madoff ran a “legitimate” hedge fund of questionable, murky investments and very risky strategies with a lot of questionable wheeling and dealing.
He gambled and lost, and the fund went bust when the economy got into trouble.
Instead of declaring bankruptcy, and consequently opening his books to investigators and dragging himself through the mud with many of Wall St. operations and big shots, he opted to declare it as a ponzi scheme and the power-that-be helped him with a very shallow “investigations”, media campaign with a lot of pontificating “pundits”. It is safer and better that way for the financial system and many powerful people in Wall St.
His two sons, his lawyer and close relatives of him and his wife, they all lost money. Did he scam his own sons and his own lawyer??!! Is that make sense.??
By declaring it ponzi scheme, his “victims” will be able to get some compensation from special fund and it will be easier for them to sue and get compensation through insurance companies.
What happened to the tens of billions of dollars??!! Nobody is saying anything.  Ya. Ya. they cofiscated his houses and his yachts, but that is tens of millions and we are talking about tens of billions.
There is big mystery here and it will take a very very long time into the future to unravel it, if ever.
In couple years, stories will start circuilating about Madoff “deterioating health” and how he is “sick broken” old man, and then he will get his “heart attack” and he will be released for “poor health”??!!

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By ardee, July 2, 2009 at 2:59 am Link to this comment

prole, July 2 at 5:16 am #

“For goodness’ sake this was not some sort of weird outsider who flipped out, but rather” another in an endless parade of shifty Shylocks down through the ages stretching back to Genesis and the famous apple.
.........................

So, then, you believe the snake to have been a Jew? People like you and the execrable TMan are probably beyond help so my posts are for the more normal and less hate consumed here.

I do not know if Michael Milliken was even Jewish, I do know that Allen Stanford certainly is not. Nor are the vast majority of the Boards of the Fortune 500 companies either. Halliburton was once run by Cheney,  and not a Jew to be found in its top leadership today either. So how to account for the billions they stole from us?

The simple facts, for the simple minded bigots who infest any forum remotely connected to Israel or Judaism, is that white anglo saxon protestants run this nation, always have, and are responsible for stealing our birthright and our future.

Jews are found in business because for a thousand years or so they were not allowed to own land in many places around the world. For every Bernard Madoff there are a thousand Jewish businessmen conducting themselves with honor and dignity in the business world.

Just as ,thankfully, for every ‘prole’ or ‘tman’ there are honorable and decent humans by the thousands who reject their hatred and abysmal ignorance. I would request that those who read these words reflect upon the motives of those who crawl from under their rocks and make the issue about religion rather than law and sanity. I would further request that these two clean up their slime trails prior to departing.

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By C. Curtis Dillon, July 2, 2009 at 2:31 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

There’s a little bit of swindler in all of us unfortunately.  Madoff played a huge game and eventually lost but he was able to get so far because he had credentials which he was willing to use in advancing his scheme.  He had credibility and people were more than willing to give him their money because he produced results that defied the odds.  That should have been the warning flag but greed got the best of everyone.  So I’m not too upset because his direct investors lost money.  However, those who were invested in other funds that bought into his scheme should have grounds to sue and get some of their money back.  These funds were the “professionals” that the government pointed to when they let investments like default swaps and mortgage backed securities go unregulated.  They were supposed to know better ... RIGHT?

But are most of us any better?  Given the opportunity, would we not do something similar?  When I sold my house and made a quick profit of $30K after just one year, wasn’t I also taking advantage?  I could have reduced the price to what I paid plus expenses but didn’t because I wanted the profits for other things.  The girl who bought it was forced to sell at a loss because she had one of these sub-prime mortgages that ate her up.  Her loss and my gain.  That is our nature.

I was listening to an interview with a retired English investment banker yesterday and he was commenting on how everyone (in London) was scrambling to make as much money and do as many deals as they could as fast as they could.  Why?  Because they all knew the bubble would burst and they wanted to make their fortune before it blew up.  There was no concern about what the ultimate impact of all this was.  They didn’t care about anything but themselves.  That’s the way we are.

The bottom line on all this is we need a system of checks and balances in the financial market.  We cannot allow greed to drive these decisions because the impact is too great.  When a bubble bursts (like this one or the one that precipitated the great depression), it is normal people and small businesses that suffer the most.  The fat cats walk away with their millions and don’t look back.  That is wrong.  We need protection because we are not allowed to influence what happens but get all the downside risk.  We also need to force separation between the monied interests and our elected representatives.  We have to break the influence money exerts over decisions in Washington and state capitals.

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By prole, July 2, 2009 at 2:16 am Link to this comment

“For goodness’ sake this was not some sort of weird outsider who flipped out, but rather” another in an endless parade of shifty Shylocks down through the ages stretching back to Genesis and the famous apple. The ‘chosen people’ have always got a gimlet eye for the main chance. Ask Michael Milken or Ivan Boesky or Marc Rich, et. al. If they’re not stealing your land, they’re stealing your savings. “Madoff often was called upon to help write the rules on financial regulation” but the real problem with Madoff was that he broke the unwritten rules of the game and used his wile to defraud the kosher crowd; rather than confine himself to the more benign pursuit of fleecing the goyim.  When SEC chairman A. Levitt “retired a year later, Madoff was quoted in the trades as paying tribute to him: ‘He brought all of us to the negotiating table time and time again’” - to help them plot their next moves. So it should come as no surprise that “When Levitt worked for Clinton as head of the SEC, he teamed up with Alan Greenspan, Robert Rubin and Lawrence Summers to destroy what remained of financial service industry regulation.”  The Four Horseman of the Apocalypse - and every one of them descended from Shem! Loyal to the end, Levitt could still dissemble “in a January 2009 opinion article in the WSJ, ‘I knew Bernie Madoff and had no reason to believe he was not a legitimate market maker…’”. With all the prescience of hindsight, Levitt was “right again when he stated in his January article: ‘The Madoff scandal should be a wake-up call for more consistent, uniform, and rigorous regulation of investment advising’”. “He gets it” alright - but he doesn’t get any hard time for it. Nor the Rubins and Summers and Volkers and Greenspans and other ‘devils incarnate’ that are still pulling the strings in the world’s biggest Jewish state. But Madoff can still be viewed as an anti-hero “because private investment contracts can involve the resources of charitable organizations”. Since Madoff was mainly preying on other greedy Jews like himself, the repercussions went beyond the whiny West Palm snobs that lost many of their excess millions. As Ha’aretz reported not long ago, “Many of the investors allegedly swindled by Wall Street money manager Bernard Madoff are, like him, Jewish, and for many of them, contributing to Jewish causes is a crucial part of their culture”. Gary Tobin, president of the Institute for Jewish and Community Research explained, “We don’t know yet how big it is. There are foundations that have lost major assets, donors that have lost their ability to give, and organizations whose investments have disappeared.You add to that the psychological fallout, and it’s just devastating”  And Jonathan Sarna of Brandeis Univ., one of the nation’s leading authorities on American Jewish history stated, “It is catastrophic—there’s no other word. The Jewish community will look different when this is all over.”  Some of those hardest hit include organizations tied to public figures like Stephen Spielberg, Jeffrey Katzenberg, Mort Zuckerman, and perhaps best of all, holocaust industry shil Elie Wiesel; and many others. Further, much of the money donated to Jewish causes winds up in Israel and as Ha’aretz notes, “While these institutions had been suffering from the economic downturn well before the Madoff scandal broke, his arrest and the collapse of his investment firm has hastened the end for some.”  Way to go, Bernie! So maybe there is a kernel of truth to the “prevailing ideology regarding private investment firms”. The “investment went south, it was on their dime” but there perhaps aren’t so many “innocent victims” after all. Mostly just a lot of rich Jews who contribute a lot to Israel. Hardly “innocent victims” of the worst-off variety such as can be found in Gaza. “So Let’s hope that Congress” doesn’t bailout any of Madoff’s cry-baby brethren. Easy come, easy go!

 

 

 


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By Folktruther, July 1, 2009 at 8:34 pm Link to this comment

What Scheer says is true and important, but not the central issue.  What kind of financial process was going on and what happened to the money?  It was obiously NOT a simple Ponzi scheme, the money was invested, but invested differently than the public political theater.  Why is not the Madoff family questioned closely about what happened over the past decade?

the Madoff family is being protected by Wall street, the regulatory commissions, the law, and the media.  Everybody on wall street apparently knew that what he was doing was fraudulent, but didn’t want to get involved.  Why?  Was he investing in drugs? one knowledgeable critic says so.  In arms for Israel.  So it has been alledged. In offshore operations of some kind?  Currency swindles?  Inquiring minds want to know.

But what we get is bullshit like 150 years in prison.  Why not fitteen hundrred years, that would show him!  If he still has billions of dollars he will get out in a few years no matter what his sentence is.  What is important is in knowing why all of wall street,etc protected him.  It appears there is some big corruption involved and the smell of it in seaping out.  What is needed is a gutsy, knowledgeable financial person to uncover it.

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By coloradokarl, July 1, 2009 at 6:11 pm Link to this comment

A smart Mutual fund thats invests in small business by giving low interest “micro loans” would pay about a 7% return thus double ones investment every 7 years. We could actually invest in America. Imagine…

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By robert bennett, July 1, 2009 at 5:01 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Why call for more regulation when the incompetent SEC was out to lunch. We don’t need more regulation but reform of the existing institutions. Whomever dropped the ball at the SEC, should at the very least, lose their job.

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By elisalouisa, July 1, 2009 at 4:41 pm Link to this comment

Rae:“It is the “WE ARE EXPENDABLE.” remark that prompts me to post.
“We” the “little people” may seem expendable but, hey, without us the greedy elite would have no victims to fleece!
We’re not expendable - we’re the gooses that lay all those golden eggs! We just don’t get to keep any for ourselves.”

Eggs are cheaper elsewhere and free trade allows the purchase thereof.  Geese in China lay golden eggs for Wall Street. Geese are also imported and work for less than minimal pay at times, even the white collar geese. Foreign geese are all over the place, in banks, investment houses, communication and retail.
Speaking of eggs, even eggs are now being imported from Mexico. Globally, Wall Street and Washington profit. I don’t think they give a——about John Q. Public. Considering they are such wizards with money, wouldn’t you think that intelligence would carry over as to what such policies are doing to the state of the union? The elite do know and do not find it relevant.

As to the three party system that some advocate, a good thing but it would be crushed, one way or the other. More difficult to control.

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By liecatcher, July 1, 2009 at 3:39 pm Link to this comment

Madoff’s “ROOT” was simply a page out of the FASCIST handbook. Control the controllers,secrecy, shock & awe, have a plastic surgeon standing by and an escape plan.

The Madoff horse & pony show is to maintain the pretense of crime & punishment & to continue to fool the uneducated & undereducated as well as Rush Limbaugh’s dedicated base.

Obama stole more in one day than Madoff did in his lifetime. The difference being Obama is the grim reaper. He has buried we the people deeper & faster than any other miscreant. However, Madoff is like a used up race track Greyhound & is ready to be put down. Obama has many years to enslave those who haven’t yet been ensnared. However, at the rate he’s going, and the fact that the U.S. is
beyond bankrupt, he may not need to do much more than turn the mercenary army on we the people & bring the curtain down on America.

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By tman, July 1, 2009 at 3:07 pm Link to this comment

Tell the truth and get criticized. What a perfect world without Israel.

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By tman, July 1, 2009 at 2:57 pm Link to this comment

The big rock in the middle of Israel.

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By christian96, July 1, 2009 at 2:56 pm Link to this comment

Ardee and Inherit The Wind—-You get an A+ for
your comments to Tman, probably some ignorant
Nazi.

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By Inherit The Wind, July 1, 2009 at 2:32 pm Link to this comment

tman, July 1 at 3:59 pm #

Behind all great money scandals lies a Jew. I wonder who to blame.
*********************************************

Wouldn’t you be happier posting on one of those white-soopremmy-cyst websites like that asswipe Von Blunn?

Didn’t you notice that AIG is not run by Jews, or that Bank of America is run by good ole’ boys?  How about Madoff’s partner, Stanford?—there as Anglo a name as they get.

What rock did you crawl out from under?

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By gary, July 1, 2009 at 2:18 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

it is really great fun to rip “wall street” as the devils playground..but few   complain when the market is rising…people must realize that when you have a great rise in share price you can expect a greater fall…stocks go down faster than they go up…but if it comforts you to think you have been ripped off then enjoy your misery..after all it takes away all personal responsibility

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By Mary Ann McNeely, July 1, 2009 at 2:10 pm Link to this comment

Madoff, perhaps more than anyone other American, is the perfect symbol of the United States as it is now after nearly 40 years of Reagan/Clinton/Bush/Obama.  The scam, the swindle, the trampling to death at Wal-Mart, the whole notion that vasts amount of money will make you not merely superior but immortal, is what this nation has been reduced to.  And on this barren stretch of ground it will surely die.

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By RAE, July 1, 2009 at 1:58 pm Link to this comment

elisalouisa wrote: “The real question: how to turn the tide. It may be too late. A major crisis might allow an awakening; how and when this will occur is a guesstimate at best. Even awakened, how can the many confront the elite who have all that is required for victory. We are expendable.”

It is the “WE ARE EXPENDABLE.” remark that prompts me to post.

“We” the “little people” may seem expendable but, hey, without us the greedy elite would have no victims to fleece!

We’re not expendable - we’re the gooses that lay all those golden eggs! We just don’t get to keep any for ourselves.

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By F Qureshi, July 1, 2009 at 1:40 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Please everyone - the distraction now is Madoff’s punishment -  get back to the question -“Where is the $65 BILLION yes BILLION now?”

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By G.Anderson, July 1, 2009 at 1:27 pm Link to this comment

Madoff, as has been pointed out previously, is just the scape goat, sacrifised to satisfy the publics cry for blood and justice.

Like Ken Lay before him a symbol, and nothing more.

Meanwhile, the banks will fight tooth and nail against, Elizabeth Warren’s plan to establish a consumer protection agency for credit. Warning that it would increase the cost of credit to consumers.

Yet, how could this be more costly than the several trillion spent by consumers for the banks ongoing and future bailouts.

Madoff, the martyr, who died for the sins of the bankers, so the bankers could keep on sinning, and more importantly B.S. ing the public, in an attempt to get more money, either through investment, or via government loans, either way we pay.

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By ardee, July 1, 2009 at 1:06 pm Link to this comment

tman, July 1 at 3:59 pm #


Behind all great money scandals lies a Jew. I wonder who to blame.

...................................

I respond to this moronic and hateful bullshit rather reluctantly, if only because the terminally stupid cannot be reasoned with.

Most of Madoff’s victims were jews and jewish charities. Most of your comments are probably fit only to line a birdcage.

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By tman, July 1, 2009 at 12:59 pm Link to this comment

Behind all great money scandals lies a Jew. I wonder who to blame.

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By felicity, July 1, 2009 at 12:52 pm Link to this comment

And it should be noted that like any proper Ponzi scheme, the ‘first’ investors with Madoff got very rich very fast - in and out and thank you maam.  (Picking up on coloradokarl, it wasn’t unusual for some of the ‘firsts’ to realize a 97% return on their investments.)

As to the financial wizard’s claimed innocence that things in high finance have been rotten for years,  4 years ago 30% of mortgagees were unable to make their 1st payment - and no financial institution, no financial wizard, no government financial overseers noticed?

And the future?  Well, Krugman said the other night that as Goldman-Sachs goes, so goes the nation and since GS is going smashingly well these days while the rest of the nation is skidding into bankruptcy, it would seem - if Krugman’s right - that the future will be merely a continuation of the present.

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By rockinrobin, July 1, 2009 at 12:44 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Liar’s poker, License to Steal, (books & many more I am sure); Hillary C getting $100,000 return from “wall st” less than 24 hours after investing $1,000.00; multiple reports on http://www.billmoyersjournal.com; The GOV is RUN on Exploitation: which is a CRIME. It is TARGET and HARM for PERSONAL PROFIT & GAIN; Hillary blew $100,000,000.00 in a single month running for Pres; live LARGE and be in CHARGE; they boast bribing country after country to “do it their way” after all they have SUCCESSFULLY gotten away with it for decades! WAKE UP AMERICANS! ALL THAT MONEY WAS STOLEN from you: FASCISM; when the GOV & CORPS, including WALL ST & BANKS work TOGETHER UNITED in HARMING THE PEOPLE of the NATION: “run just like a large plantation”; “keep all the $ at the top”; all the LAWS are written AGAINST THE PEOPLE; “what the PEOPLE have to say is noted: however THIS is the way it will BE!
THE JUDICIAL SYSTEM IS BROKEN: of course it is! how in the world can you have JUSTICE in a NATION that is CRIMINALLY OPERATED & RUN???????

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By aced, July 1, 2009 at 12:23 pm Link to this comment

I agree with ardee that Madoff is a type of scapegoat for the dangers of deregulation, and we are not the only ones saying it:
http://www.newsy.com/videos/madoff_who_s_really_to_blame

That said, Madoff got what he deserved and will hopefully rot in prison the rest of his life and think of all the pain he caused.

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By BobZ, July 1, 2009 at 12:07 pm Link to this comment

The sad part of the Madoff scandal/scam is that his theft’s were mainly from the already well off and they had this entitlement mentality about high return/risk free investments that certainly weren’t available to anyone else. They had to be among the most naive investors around to think they would get guaranteed 12% return on their investments year after year. I don’t really feel sorry for them. I do feel sorry for investors who had no knowledge they were entrusting money to Madoff, but again they did not do their homework either. The real scandal is how the rest of us got scammed legally by Wall Street to the tune of 1.3-4 trillion depending on how you calculate the losses. We have just gone through the biggest financial scam in world history and all done mostly legally. And this theft of our assets will continue as more companies drop defined benefit plans for defined contribution plans that are little more than financial vehicles to allow Wall Street to continue gambling with our money. Millions of baby boomers who thought they were going to retire in the next few years are now recalculating their ability to do so. That puts more pressure on young people coming into the work force when there are fewer job openings. We the people have let Congress destroy the financial security of much of the middle class in the name of letting markets work their magic by eliminating decades old regulations that worked. This is a “gift” that will keep on giving decades from now as our population ages and their financial nest egg gets smaller and smaller.

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By WriterOnTheStorm, July 1, 2009 at 12:03 pm Link to this comment

It has been said that every society has the criminals it deserves. Does Mr Scheer propose to regulate the values of a society that regards wealth as the greatest marker of success? We should all remember that greed has effectively become the organizing principal of an increasingly heterogeneous nation.

For several generations now, corporations have devoted trillions in research and advertising to the cause of blurring the distinction between material gain and happiness. The result is a world where meaning has been displaced by mere information. Where purpose has been supplanted by pure ambition. We are being systematically taught to view our lives as a movie in which the content is an irrelevance compared to the box-office. In such an environment, can Madoff’s actions really be considered anomalous?

It is hypocritical to denounce the Madoff pyramid because it produced nothing, while at the same time sing the praises of late capitalism, which focuses much of its efforts on producing the desire for things that ultimately mean nothing, apart from the short-lived social status it may confer.

There have been other Madoffs in history. There will be more in the future. Most will never be caught, and some will even be celebrated by throngs of deluded aspirants. But it is vanity to conclude that the world’s Madoffs are a perversion of the system, when all the evidence suggests that these beasts are the natural outcome of it.

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By Caitlin, July 1, 2009 at 10:57 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Madoff is only one man about of a much bigger picture. It’s great that we finally have a case to set the precedent for other followers, but as Talking Points Memo points out, “Large corporations and banks stole or wasted trillions. Most of their principle actors are still very prominent and directing current policy.” http://www.newsy.com/videos/madoff_who_s_really_to_blame What about those swindlers? Shouldn’t they also be held more accountable for their actions?

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By Stamp out Bush lawyers now, July 1, 2009 at 10:56 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

One hundred fifty years is astronomical for a financial guy, especially a guy who continued to serve his masters by not revealing his secrets, i.e., the government-Wall Street conspiracy that permitted his fraud until the spigot was so unceremoniously turned off. 

Compare the sentence of Tennessee advanced physic professor J. Reece Roth, charged on the flimsiest of pretexts by some of those PAT ROBERTSON government lawyers with violations of the Arms Export Control Act.  Our aptly-named criminal justice system sentenced him to ONE HUNDRED SIXTY (160) YEARS the day after Madoff was sentenced.  To make a point, I presume.

Of course, anything to destroy America’s stature in world science and to rush us further into the Dark Ages into which they led us. 

Only one question remains:  will Obama make this presumably innocent man suffer in prison for eight years or pardon him this evening?

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By KDelphi, July 1, 2009 at 9:56 am Link to this comment

RAE—While the Socialist Democracies of some EU countries are not perfect, they are far more egalitarian than purely “Capitalist” govts (which is a misnomer, as Capitalism is not really a “form of govt” and has nothing to do with “freedom” of human beings, but freedom of Capital)


I think the media “loves” Madoff for drawing attention away from their own greed and complicity with luring the middle class into Wall St—-no one has any business investing their life savings there. Both parties prommoted this “401k and IRA” mentality (soon—“health care savings accounts”—another NON idea)and dismantled the social safety net below it. (spent it on war)It just wasnt enough to have a set pension plan—-people wanted more and took the risk. Now, whether we had retirement accounts or not, will all have to pay for it,.

But , dont get mad at the FREEDOM mkt—LOOK HERE!! Its Madoff! That basterd! We dont need “regulation”—-he and a few others were just “bad apples”.

And the ones that Obama re-hired—-they’ve “reformed”!

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By Richard Kurth, July 1, 2009 at 9:27 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The consequences of greed are bringing this country to its knees. So we’d better start inquiring: Why are we greedy? Or better still, why am I greedy? Why is enough never enough? Greed, like any compulsive, addictive urge, makes us do things we later regret, perhaps suicidally so.

The degree of greediness is not so important as it’s not static but changes all the time. And greed can be for anything: money, power, pleasure, food, sex, recognition, acceptance, happiness, security, salvation, God - or all of it.

Could the root cause be our education and culture (starting at home as a child) that conditions us into believing in our “lack” of whatever, and the “scarcity” of the provisions for happiness and freedom?

I’d be very interested in reading what anyone out there thinks is the cause of greed. Because if we don’t understand the cause, we’ll never cure this disease and its cancerously negative consequences.

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By ak47blog, July 1, 2009 at 9:04 am Link to this comment

400 YEAR OLD STALE NEWS IT SMELLS…..............

MAINSTREAM MEDIA CREATES MYTHS, STEREOTYPING, INACCURATE FACTS, INCORRECT
ASSOCIATIONS. The LONE CORRUPT CRIMINAL….

Exploitative media barons, news outlets including communicators, academics, educators,
authors, publishers, editors, reporters, radio, TV, websites continue unabated to include distortions distractions on the current demise of US and world financial collapse. The Madoff sound bytes and buzz words are basically distractions for illegal financial transactions which are “PYRAMID SCHEMES”.
The chronology relating to Wall Street
illegal pyramid financial scams originated in “England c.1660 and copied verbatim in America c.1792” under a Buttonwood Tree in lower Manhattan now the New York Stock Exchange.

Consequently, the incorrect association and insidious perpetuation of lone corrupt criminal myths by MSM, educators, communicators is to deflect and distract the GREAT CRIMES that now permeate our financial and global market systems. Subsequently, the correct scam is “Pyramid Scheme” the current USA demise is a “Reverse Pyramid Market Scheme”

The current operators of massive “Pyramid Schemes” “Reverse Pyramid Market” scams continue their great crimes with assistance
from illegal government policy welfare stimulus bailouts, myths, MSM distractions, and controlled markets.

Not one person or entity has been held accountable to date that includes “Where’s the Money Madoff”, “Bonus Baby AIG”, “Wall Street Pyramid Scam Banks”, “Reverse Robin Hood Merry Men Goldman Sachs,” “Old School Pyramid Scam Citi Bank BofA, ” and the entire dominate Ivy League explosive personality controlling the US government financial system.

Madoff the pyramid scammer will disappear possibly with a media hype “death by heart attack”.

visit

also see ......

ak47 21stCenturyreversePyramid

http://21stcenturyreversepyramid.blogspot.com/

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By artie, July 1, 2009 at 8:14 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

This is a small-time, noisy sideshow to divert attention from the main swindlers and shysters, who have actually been richly rewarded for their fleecing the masses of trillions, conveniently delayed by borrowing from foreigners, and all to be paid back with interest by said masses, their children, and grandchildren. .

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By elisalouisa, July 1, 2009 at 6:29 am Link to this comment

Coloradokarl:“WAKE UP !!! ALL of the investments on Wall Street are really a “Ponzi” scheme hidden by the cloak of the American Dream and insured by US.”

So true. You have written when I have long believed but not ventured to say. The vast amounts of money gained by Wall street is used to finance control of the people who paid and continue to pay the bill.

The real question: how to turn the tide. It may be too late. A major crisis might allow an awakening; how and when this will occur is a guesstimate at best. Even awakened, how can the many confront the elite who have all that is required for victory. We are expendable.

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RAE's avatar

By RAE, July 1, 2009 at 6:07 am Link to this comment

Y’know, coloradokarl, there’s a part of me that agrees with you.

I don’t know about how much the accounts were insured for… you say $500,000 which, if true for all, does kinda negate the crocodile tear display, doesn’t it?

I have always been conflicted by the cruel inequity that exists between those “in the know” in the white collar world, and those completely “out of the loop,” which is everyone else. Those well connected paper pushers get rich quick for doing very little real work and seem to only get richer while doing less and less “work” over time.

We, “everyone else” folk, struggle just keep our heads above water. No matter what we do it’s hard, often mind-numbing, boring, labor from dawn to dusk and at the end of each month we’re almost no further ahead. After 40 years of that crap, if we’re lucky, we’ve got enough money saved to last for a few comfy years, and then it’s on to a month-to-month, hand-to-mouth existence for the rest of our days.

In the meantime, the Madoff’s of this world are laughing themselves silly at how stupid we all are. We worked OUR butts off so THEY could live in luxury on Easy Street.

However… and here’s the irony… almost any one of us “everyone else” folk… IF GIVEN THE CHANCE… would likely, and very quickly, become one of those paper pushers, piling up the riches at the expense of others. Who wouldn’t. Very little work. All the benefits and luxuries.

It’s not fair. But then, I’m told, “life’s not fair.” Well, that’s no answer as far as I’m concerned. We should come up with a system that makes it fair for ALL.

Good luck, eh? Sound like socialism, or worse, communism? I guess they don’t work well either. Once all the “wealth” gets equally shared (which has never happened under any system) then NO ONE seems to have very much.

So, as I said, I’m conflicted. But it sure is a burr under my saddle to watch the Fat Cats of Wall Street sit around in their $5,000 suits discussing the next scheme to rip everyone else off.

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By christian96, July 1, 2009 at 6:00 am Link to this comment

As a person who does not rate “money” as a priority
in my life, I do feel sorry for the people who lost
millions because they trusted this deceitful self-
centered man.  It seems the government should have
some check-and-balance system to serve as watchman
over financial transactions but perhaps my ignorance
is showing.  It is comforting to know that people
such as Robert Scheer are knowledgeable about such
matters and serve as watchman for deceivers such as
Bernie Madoff.

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Trailing Begonia's avatar

By Trailing Begonia, July 1, 2009 at 5:56 am Link to this comment

The inspector general’s office is looking into it?  ROFL - this is the funniest thing ever!  Perhaps they should let the 9/11 Truth Commission handle it!

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By Proletariatpriness, July 1, 2009 at 5:29 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Something always smelled fishy to me about Madoff’s confession.  Not that he isn’t guilty, but why did he confess? and what about the timing?  What is being overed up?  I agree that this is just the tip of the iceberg.

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By coloradokarl, July 1, 2009 at 5:15 am Link to this comment

PEOPLE, The accounts were INSURED for $500,000.00 By the American Taxpayer! Quit giving us that “Oh this old man has to go back to work!” crap. These people got greedy and fell into a Confidence swindle. WAKE UP !!! ALL of the investments on Wall Street are really a “Ponzi” scheme hidden by the cloak of the American Dream and insured by US.

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By ardee, July 1, 2009 at 4:57 am Link to this comment

Madoof, and Allen Stanford as well, are both sacrificial lambs and the tip of the iceberg. They are going to prison, not so much because of their illicit business dealings but for the crime of getting caught and exposing the financial community for what it really is, a group of elitists who think themselves above the law.

If anyone here believes this marks a turning point in America’s financial morality I have this piece of land they might like to buy. I’ll gladly show it at any low tide.

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RAE's avatar

By RAE, July 1, 2009 at 4:41 am Link to this comment

This thief and all other lazy, cowardly scum like him need to know that (a) they WILL be caught, and (b) when they are they’re going away for LIFE (and that means their entire remaining time on the planet) and ALL assets that can be found will be confiscated and returned to as many victims as can be found. Anything left over can be returned to the family.

Oh yes… all those who “suspected” something was going on and did nothing are, as far as I’m concerned, just as guilty.

Anyone or any organization that deals with other people’s assets NEED OVERSIGHT 24/7. A full federal audit of their daily transactions and financial holdings should be standard procedure.

I hope this creep has one hell of a miserable time in prison and I wish him a l-o-n-g, l-o-n-g life.

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thebeerdoctor's avatar

By thebeerdoctor, July 1, 2009 at 4:13 am Link to this comment

To the 80 year old retired petroleum engineer, who lost all his money to Madoff’s scheme, and now works as a butcher at a Safeway supermarket, for less than $9 an hour… that is, as composer Willie Dixon stated “evil going on”. But the sentencing and court drama? That is hypocritical contrition, designed to ease the consciences of all those who enable this mess, euphemistically referred to as a financial system, to not only exist, but to actually thrive on the suffering of others.

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