Friday, March 13, 2009

Feckless Friday


In case you've been on another planet for the past few weeks you might have not heard about a 50 billion dollar Ponzi scheme or that Bernie Madoff went to Jail yesterday. After several weeks of forced home imprisonment in his 7 million dollar penthouse (I will sign up for a couple of months of that), he finally plead guilty to 11 counts of fraud and other bad stuff. The total possible sentence is 150 years in jail. At 70 years of age it seems likely he will spend the rest of his life in prison.

Mr Madoff will be sentenced in June. Good luck on that Bernie.

OK, so with that info behind us, let's move on to the point of all this. Good ole Bernie started his fraudulent enterprise back in the early 80s it turns out. The feds think he conned investors out of over $170 billion dollars in a little over 25 years. You have gotta give the dude credit for consistency. The FACT that the SEC never caught on to this in spite of many outcries by investors and others is troubling to say the least.

Should it then amaze any of us that the rest of the market went buck naked crazy as well. While Bernie made off with a couple of hundred billion at best, the rest of the Wall street theives are still in the process of bilking the American taxpayer out of a few TRILLIONS in dollors.

By the time the current and continuing financial crisis is all wrung out we will have spent somewhere between 3 - 7 Trillion dollars according to estimates I've read. Most of this is going to counter parties unknown to us since we are not allowed to know their names.

It is assumed that the Saudis, Chinese and various hedge funds and other large investors will be the beneficiaries of our largess. In addition their will also be a windfall for the companies that are currently forming to buy up so-called toxic assets from the government for resale. Understand that these derivatives and credit instruments are mostly asset backed. Many by homes and cars. The very same people that decided hyper leveraging was a good thing for banks, brokerage houses and hedge funds will now profit again from the very destruction brought about. These are surely the real criminals. Compared to them, Bernie is an amateur.

Bernie was just a Renaissance man of the financial times. He was no more than a smooth straight up con man. The other wizards of Wall street, the ones that won't be going to jail and the incompetent regulators and politicians that turned a blind eye, they're the ones that deserve the real blame.

Don't take my word for it. Nouriel Roubini or Dr Doom as he is called thinks it's worse than that. What do you think?


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