This is a blog dedicated to a personal interpretation of political news of the day. I attempt to be as knowledgeable as possible before commenting and committing my thoughts to a day's communication.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Fallout From The Fallout

As though the global economic meltdown wasn't enough of a worrying mess, sending financial markets into a tailspin, manufacturers into insolvency, and consumers into a panic, with governments equally rattled, trying to spend their country out of financial doom. Rising unemployment, home losses, retail sales plummeting, and consumers unable to obtain bank loans - we're facing a tight situation for the near future, in the hopes that this sacrifice of quality of life will see its worst through the coming year, delivering us into normalcy by 2010.

And then a high-roller, a much esteemed and inordinately trusted investment house sees its principle informing his family that he has managed, single-handedly, to embezzle $50-billion dollars out of the world economy, leaving the financial community reeling, and the people and businesses and institutions he impacted in a nightmare of disbelief. Those investors in his interest-high-return scheme who withdrew some or part of their funds within the last six years, for whatever reason, might have breathed an initial sigh of relief at their escape from beggary.

But the lawyers, sharpening their wits and their pencils in an all-out series of ground-breaking lawsuits will do their utmost to ensure that those funds, inclusive of original investment and interest, be returned to the pot for what might be considered to be a fair distribution - of, actually, not a hell of a lot, considering the size of the original pot, now melted. And in a notoriously litigious society, lawyers must surely be salivating, sitting on the edge of their seats with excitement over the new potential for fat fees in prosecuting money managers who bought into Madoff Investments on behalf of their clients.

One such fund investor who heavily funnelled his clients' fortunes into the sure-fire high-interest return guaranteed by Bernard Madoff's reliably sterling company, was J. Ezra Merkin, through his two investment companies, Gabriel Capital LP fund and Ariel Fund Ltd. At this very moment, his many, and storied clients, are none too amused that the Angels of the Old Testament, Gabriel and Ariel, whose names truly were taken in vain, have proven to be devilishly unlike the remunerative angels they thought Mr. Merkin and Mr. Madoff represented.

Talk about slovenly professional conduct; all those smart money managers who took funding from their fabulously wealthy and trusting clients to re-invest with Madoff Investments without an inkling of an idea how it might be even remotely possible that - with universal low interest rates - Madoff Investments was able to grandly guarantee a return on investment of 10%, goes unanswered. As pithy a question as could be imagined, but logical explanations are not to be found, other than that they speak to the greed of people not really wanting to know how and why, just eager to collect.

The largest private university in the United States, New York University, has been stung by Madoff's scheming, along with fabulously wealthy men and women, celebrities, philanthropic societies, and more bedevilled unfortunates being unveiled day by day. Yeshiva University, also ponzied, did not really have to politely ask both Mr. Merkin, chairman of GMAC LLC and the now-disgraced Bernard Madoff to resign from its board of directors. One does wonder, however, how both men, particularly Mr. Madoff, resigns himself to his growing reputation as the most disreputable, detested investment guru in history?

And one wonders, does he give a thought to the ruined lives of frantic people trying to figure out how to forge ahead for their now-bleak futures? Granted, those with stacks of money, invested a portion of it with him, and will have plenty to live on, while ruing the day they ever heard of him. But there are others with vastly more modest wealth now left bereft. And the blackened reputation of otherwise respected money managers like Theirry Magon de la Villehuchet who did business with Madoff International was enough to bring him to suicide.

Does Mr. Madoff have a conscience? Wouldn't anyone be fascinated to hear the words of uplift and encouragement emanating from the lips of his loyal wife, his two sons whose reputations and future in the industry - let alone the society and the world they live in - he has destroyed?

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