Friday, December 12, 2008

Men and Greed

Last night Bernard Madoff was arrested for running what was basically, the mother of all scams in the investment industry.

The other day, Governor Rod R. Blagojevich was caught trying to line his pockets by offering his pick to replace Senator Obama up for sale.

Men and greed.

Oh, sure, women are greedy, too. No question. We rarely rise to the same levels of power, though. I do not think we are above it, we simply haven't had the same opportunities.

With Madoff, I can personally say, it was clear it was a scam to me. For a long time. I've worked in the investment industry and served on investment committees for a long time. I knew, many people I knew also knew, that there was no way anyone could ever have those kind of returns.

It simply was too good to be true.

Why did people invest? Because they didn't want to see the man behind the curtain. They wanted the money.

I cannot even begin to explain the good Governor. He had it made. He had power and political clout. I guess it wasn't enough.

The fascinating thing to me, is that they don't realize they will get caught. Madoff had been doing this for YEARS. Decades. How he could have lived with taking money from people knowing they would never get it back is beyond me.

But did both men really honestly believe they would get away with it? I think Madoff knew the gig would be up eventually. Blagojevich was just an idiot.

I look at the three, privileged white boys I am raising and wonder how to keep their feet on the ground. How to install a sense of dignity and moral compass that is strong enough to weather any kind of temptation- and especially money and power.

I don't know how. But I know I have to.

Because men and greed... it's a bad combination.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

It would have been great if you had blogged about Madoff earlier since you knew he was a scam. Do you know of any others? It would be a really good service if someone like you who knows these things would alert others in time.

10:15 PM  
Blogger Rev. Bob said...

When do we stop expecting insane returns on investment? I know of a large airplane company in a rather moist town that was selling off divisions and even selling off land and outsourcing critical work and technologies to make their quarterlies look good in response to competition for investor dollars from mortgage derivatives and other funny money schemes.

Hint: if you let Japan build your wing, you've just given Japan an aviation industry.

Investors are junkies. We need detox.

11:19 PM  
Blogger Sara said...

I had no proof. Just believed the returns were unachievable and unreal.

8:39 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You should have reported this since you knew it was a scam

11:02 AM  
Blogger Sue J said...

Hey Anonymous, why don't you direct your questions to the SEC, who started to investigate Maddoff and then dropped it.

7:13 PM  
Blogger Sara said...

I had NO PROOF. that is called LIBEL.

many people did report it.

8:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are right. It does seem like lots of people were on to this guy. At least no one you knew got taken in by him.

6:04 PM  

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