December 11, 2008

So much for bailing out the automakers ...

USA Today reports:

Federal authorities have charged a Wall Street veteran with running a Ponzi scheme that prosecutors allege lost a staggering $50 billion.

Bernard Madoff, founder of Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities, 70, was charged on Thursday by the Manhattan U.S. Attorney's office and the Securities and Exchange Commission with securities fraud. The charge comes a day after the complaint says Madoff told some high-level employees that his investment management business was a "fraud" and "basically, a giant Ponzi scheme."

The U.S. Attorney's complaint accuses Madoff of losing some of his investors' money on bad trades, then attempting to hide it by replacing that lost money with cash from his other investors. Madoff's investment management business had between 11 and 25 clients and $17.1 billion in assets as of a Jan. 7 filing, the complaint says, and one of Madoff's senior employees had "several million" under his management.

The scheme finally came unraveled because Madoff's clients asked for $7 billion in redemptions as of the first week of December, the complaint says, and Madoff couldn't come up with the cash to cover the requests.

Authorities say Madoff told senior employees at a private meeting at his apartment in New York that he planned to turn himself in within a week and that he was "finished" and had "absolutely nothing." Madoff estimated he had lost at least $50 billion but first wanted to pay out his remaining $200 million to $300 million to employees, family and friends, the complaint says.

Fifty billion here, fifty billion there, pretty soon we're talking about real money.

The government will presumably have to bail out Madoff's investors, so that's all the money that could have gone to bailing out Detroit (after all, Madoff's investors don't actually make anything, so they come first).

Oh, I forgot, we can just make up more money at no expense. Never mind!

Anyway, that reminds me of what a brilliant career move I made from changing from being a corporate executive to being a writer. Sure, it may not have seemed like that smart a switch from the perspective of my net worth and all that, but here's the thing: writers don't retire, thus positioning me perfectly for our coming Work Until You Die economy.

In other kinds of jobs, you reach a point where you just feel too old to keep making the 7am flight to Dallas, so you want to retire. But writers can keep shuffling from their bedroom to their home office indefinitely.

Sure, when I'm 80, I won't have as many original insights as I do now. But, I have too many now. I'll be more popular then.

My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer

18 comments:

beowulf said...

Oh, I forgot, we can just make up more money at no expense. Never mind!

That's actually true.
http://www.monetary.org/chicagoplan.html

Anonymous said...

why would this result in a bailout? Let's not get carried away.

Garland said...

when you hit 65 just start reposting most of your stuff. people will be more accepting of it then (at least according to you and other "in ten years all the genome data will be in" types) and we loyal fans will go along with it (which I hope you appreciate, as it means forfeiting our "I was into that band before you" rights).

Steve Sailer said...

"why would this result in a bailout?"

What doesn't result in a bailout?

headache said...

What's a Ponzi scheme?

Anonymous said...

Bernard L. Madoff is 70 years old. You'd think his stealing days would be over by then.

What was motivating this man at such an advanced age to steal massive amounts of money. What was he going to use it for? Surely the house and cars and retirement were funded by that date.


I wonder if had any political issues he felt strongly about or supported?

Lucius Vorenus said...

Anonymous: Bernard L. Madoff is 70 years old. You'd think his stealing days would be over by then... I wonder if had any political issues he felt strongly about or supported?

Oh, Bernard L. Madoff's political interests are just about exactly what you'd expect out of a guy with a name like "Madoff":

opensecrets.org

[Note that you will need to enter both the election cycles - I like to choose "Search all cycles" - and also the "CAPTCHA" code at the bottom of the page.]

PS: Steve, will this post be censored because I pointed out that Madoff has a name like Madoff?

Recently, my censorship victimization rate at iSteve seems to be soaring into the stratosphere.

Let's! said...

Steve in March '07...
It has seldom been remarked how large a role self-pity plays in the wildly popular 45-year-old Presidential candidate's personality.

Self-pity...remind you of someone?

Sure, when I'm 80, I won't have as many original insights as I do now. But, I have too many now. I'll be more popular then.

Mr. Anon said...

"Anonymous said...

What was motivating this man at such an advanced age to steal massive amounts of money. What was he going to use it for? Surely the house and cars and retirement were funded by that date."

I'm reminded of the Incas being at a loss to explain Pizarro's seemingly boundless desire for gold. They asked him if he ate gold. Nothing else could explain his unnatural lust for a metal that for the Incas had little value other than for ornamental uses.

Do these guys eat money? Do they require it - as a vampire needs fresh blood - that they want so much of it?

Anonymous said...

'What was motivating this man'

To some extent probably the Talmud, which is full of nasty dual morality instructions much like the Koran.

Boesky? Milken? Israel(the "suicide is painless" joker)? Madoff? Larry Summers(coordinated the looting of Russia via the Oligarchs)? These are radical Jews who do their thing without apology.

The list is endless. In their own twisted minds they get permission for their acts from some of the more radical instructions in the Talmud and the Torah. Parts of the Torah are nothing less than genocidal. The Talmud is almost as vicious as the Koran toward outgroup members.

Read the available articles on the hardcore Jews running the Kosher slaughterhouse operation in Iowa. Their story is textbook dual morality in action.

Outsiders (especially Christians) look at the actions of Talmud and Koran followers as "unthinkable" but the ingroup members see the same actions as entirely legitimate and sanctioned by God.

Blogger Lawrence Auster constantly harps on the failure of Christians to recognize that Muslims are motivated by scripture to perform terrorists acts against outgroup members...but Auster ignores the same dynamic in the radical Jewish community where the only difference being the terrorism is usually expressed in financial or legal or cultural attacks instead of bombs.

Anonymous said...

What's a google?

Richard A. said...

Steve,
Take a look at this guys political contributions.

albertosaurus said...

Excuse me, I have to go shuffle off to the bathroom now.

Anonymous said...

"I wonder if had any political issues he felt strongly about or supported?"

Tzvee's Talmudic Blog reports:

Yes, Bernard L. Madoff is a Jew.

Bernard Madoff was arrested and charged today with allegedly running a $50 billion Ponzi scheme, according to U.S. authorities.

According to Yeshiva University, "Bernard L. Madoff, a member of the University’s Board of Trustees since 1996, was elected chairman of the Board of Directors of Sy Syms School of Business in 2000. Mr. Madoff is chairman of Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities, one of the nation’s largest third-market dealers in New York Stock Exchange and over-the-counter securities. A Benefactor of the University, Mr. Madoff recently made a major gift to the Sy Syms School."


Rescued from the Google cache (page has been deleted by Yeshiva University):

Greetings from
Bernard L. Madoff
Chairman of the Board,
Sy Syms School of Business

On behalf of the board of directors of the Sy Syms School of Business, I am delighted to welcome you all to tonight’s gala in honor of Dean Michael J. Ginzberg and distinguished alumni Rabbi Moshe (Martin) Blech, J.J. Sussman, and Deborah Ifrah.

This evening celebrates our accomplishments over the past year. Our new dean emboldens and enhances our school with his enterprising, dynamic vision for the future. It gives me great pleasure to partner with Dean Ginzberg and Yeshiva University to propel SSSB to higher levels of academic excellence and achievement.

Our students and alumni have brought together their friends and business associates for a wonderful evening of celebration and networking. Productive partnerships are an important part of business, and SSSB students and alumni have learned this lesson well. The achievements of our graduates are testaments to the exceptional education they have received at SSSB. Let us continue to strengthen our school and our relationships with one another.

I’d like to give great thanks to my fellow board member Warren Eisenberg for serving as honorary co-chair of this evening and my best wishes to all on this special celebration as we look to a future filled with promise.

tommy said...

n an era of faceless organizations owned by other equally faceless organizations, Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC harks back to an earlier era in the financial world: The owner's name is on the door. Clients know that Bernard Madoff has a personal interest in maintaining the unblemished record of value, fair-dealing, and high ethical standards that has always been the firm's hallmark.

From Madoff.com

Anonymous said...

When you are 70 years old you will feel inside exactly as you did when you were 60, or 50 or 40. Maybe at 30 and earlier you felt stronger, more eneregetic and more sure that your body would take anything and heal. Still many of your needs and wants would be the same 40 years later. As my Mother at 84 said, when she thought she was terminal,: "so soon". You will feel that way.

Pseudothyrum said...

Nothing new here - Jews are disproportionately white-collar criminals in all of the countries they have ever settled in. See, for instance, in America: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:American_white-collar_criminals

Yeshiva University actually tried to quickly delete Madoff's name from its website after the scandal broke - but they failed. And the New York Times also removed information about his Jewish connections from an article written about him too. See: http://failedmessiah.typepad.com/failed_messiahcom/2008/12/exclusive-yu-sa.html

headache said...

Matloff even made the headlines here in Germany. Looking at his pic, a thought crossed my mind: Obviously he's being disingenuous when talking about 1-2 dozen investors. When a few individuals invest that kind of money you know them by name. So lets say it was 10 people. They gave him money because he had been the boss of NASDAQ, so they thought he was serious. What kind of people give 1,5 billion USD to an individual? Was that all their dough, or did they have more to "invest" somewhere else? Amazing how Wall Street works.