Friday, March 13, 2009

I’m not Seein’ a lot of Love for Madoff’s Victims…

To my Conservative Friends:

I have always written that jealousy is one of the most powerful emotions. And by looking at the news, interviews and comments made about the historic Madoff scandal, the green-eyed monster is proving to be vicious and an extremely dominant force in the whole sorted affair.

As we all know, Bernie Madoff finally appeared in court yesterday to “fess up” to his egregious and enormous crimes against thousands of victims as he pleaded guilty to 11 criminal counts and faces up to 150 years in jail.

The man will die in jail a disgraced and humiliated criminal and his family will undoubtedly have to answer to the crimes and account for the billions of dollars bilked from the countless investors he and his accomplices scammed. And, rest assured, there will be many implicated in his family and his company – no way he did this alone or with just another person or two. This scam required the help of many people to exist as long as it did.

The Ponzi-scheme, as intricate and fascinating as it is, is not really what intrigues me about his case. It is the reaction of the everyday people to the victims that really tells a good story. In the many interviews that I have seen and message boards I have read about the reaction to the case, I have not really seen a lot of sympathy towards the victims of this crime. I wonder why that is…

Sure, there is anger at Madoff as he will forever be the poster boy for Wall Street greed and corruption. However, a good portion of the reaction I am reading does not show much sympathy to the people who were swindled. Some people even go so far as to blame the victims claiming, “They shoulda known better!!!” Wow, harsh world we live in where the victims of crime are blamed….

Let’s puts the typical Madoff victim in the proper perspective. We all know Madoff did not accept most clients in order to create an “Exclusive Club” type facade. I have seen some people claim they referred people with $3-5 Million to invest and it was not enough to join the Madoff Club. There was another reason for this beyond creating the myth of Madoff. Bernie needed massive amounts of capital to keep the scam going. A few million here and a few there would not be worth the trouble to perpetuate the multi-Billion dollar scheme that we now know occurred.

My point here is that the Madoff client was not a school teacher or a factory worker investing their few thousand dollars of savings when they get their tax refund… No, these were super-wealthy people who had multi-million dollar balance sheets. For example, a wealthy man that had a net worth of 30 Million would invest $5-10 Million with Madoff. Now, once he loses that, he would still be left a wealthy man with $20 million remaining.

Is the theft of this man’s $10 million a lesser crime that stealing another man’s last 20 bucks from his wallet??? The public would have more sympathy for the man who lost his $20 bucks that the guy who lost the $10 million. Why??? Because the guy that lost the $10 million is wealthy. It does not matter that his lose was much larger and widespread.

You see, I believe there are a bunch of people out there that are saying “Good for those rich pricks, they got what they deserve!!!” So it all comes back the most basic of human emotions – Jealousy!!! Class vs. Class to its core…

It’s a shame that just because people had the money to invest, they are not afforded the same empathy as other people who have been victims of similar crimes…

Just my thoughts…

GOP Mike

18 comments:

  1. These people, as GOP Mike himself attests, are wealthy individuals who are successful in business and professional life and to a certain extent, yes, they SHOULD know better.

    If you bilk a guy living under a freeway of his last $2 on the promise of making him rich, well... what else has the poor slob got to believe in.

    But when your balance sheet is 10, 20, 30 million dollars or more, then you SHOULD be on guard for scams. OF COURSE you will be the target of scams.

    What GOP Mike sees as green-eyed envy might just be pure fear.

    When this scandal first broke I was VERY fearful that the taxpayers would be asked to "make it good" for the "victims".

    I'm not envious of them. I don't begrudge them their success.

    I just want to say loud and clear that they made their own financial decisions and if they want a bailout from ME: f* that!

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  2. One question for GOP Mike:

    Those who did get rich from this ponzi scheme -- and there are many who did, the early ones -- how much are they offering to share with the rest of us?

    And now, by implication, you want us to "take care of" the losers of this scam.

    Please. Save your tears for the starving Africans or the enslaved Islamic women of the world.

    Don't go trying to get me to pony up money for millionaires who made poor investment decisions.

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  3. Persnickity comments. I think maybe you mean envy instead of jealousy. And the phrase I think you want is "whole sordid affair".

    But nit-picking aside, yeah. People died because of this putz. I'm guessing more people will suffer acutely and chronically because of him.

    And as one liar or one lie makes all communication suspect, Madoff has blighted all financial services. So we are his victims as well.

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  4. But, many of these wealthy folks certainly knew something was fishy. They knew they were benifitting from criminal activity, and it didn't bother them at all. Hence, the lack of sympathy.

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  5. BUT, the investors in this "club" were getting a return interest rate that was too good to be true! It was, and they should have known.

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  6. The way I look at it, most of them were arrogant New York swells who were HONORED to have Madoff take their money.

    Madoff was rich, after all, therefore he was a good man.

    Too bad, so sad.

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  7. I feel for them. You work for your money, you invest it, and some a$$hole steals it. Doesn't really matter if the investors were well-off or not. Screwing people out of money is a crime even if the victim was wealthy. See, I'm what you might call a Republican.

    I'm so reasonable that I'm giving myself a chill.

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