The devil and Bernard Madoff

SPENGLER The devil and Bernard Madoff Bernard Madoff’s fleecing of the rich and famous in his apparent US$50 billion swindle, along with supposedly savvy investment firms, exposes America’s elite as feckless incompetents who could not spot the wolf within their own sheepfold. The very rich believe what F Scott Fitzgerald said about them, that “the very rich are different from you and me”. Serried ranks of lawyers, accountants and financial advisors surround them and keep them from harm. Madoff proved otherwise, making a few of them into paupers and humiliating a very large number of them. Not because of what they do, but because of who they are, the very wealthy consider themselves above the fate of ordinary people. They know the right people, they join the right clubs, and they have access to the right advice. Sometimes it takes a national catastrophe to teach them otherwise. The slaughter of the subalterns in World War I destroyed the flower of the English gentry, and the Russian revolution left counts driving taxicabs in Paris. There was no recuperation from such punishment. There is no more trend to ride. Wealth now will require sweat, brains and guts

My problem with this is that we may get to bail out these investors.

U.S. District Judge Louis L. Stanton ordered the clients to seek relief under a federal statute to rescue cheated investors.

Congress created the SIPC in 1970 to protect investors when a brokerage fails.

Funds will be used to satisfy claims of up to a maximum of $500,000.

So the smaller investors will be OK. It looks like they have retained 15 billion in assets which possibly the big investors will go after.

I just wonder how much this will cost the taxpayers?

Yeah, the wealthy will get socialism, but those auto workers get capitalism and rhetoric about being “competitive.” Too bad they aren’t treated like Swedish and Danish workers:

Denmark pursues a policy known as “flexicurity”-combining the flexible “hire and fire” system of freer economies and the government-provided security that is traditionally associated with continental European and Scandinavian countries. While it is far easier to fire employees than in France and Sweden, unemployment benefits is in fact even more “generous” than in Sweden (Unemployed gets 90% of their previous pay in Denmark, versus 80% in Sweden).

As for unemployment, the seemingly low numbers in Denmark reflect in fact the same kind of manipulation of statistics that the Swedish government have been using. While official unemployment in Denmark was only 133,500 or 4.8% in March 2006, there were in the fourth quarter (latest available number in Denmark’s statistical data bank )some 117,600 people or 4.2% in so-called “arbejdsmarkedspolitiske foranstaltninger(=“labor market political activities”, what in Sweden is refered to as “AMS-åtgärder”)”. This means that Denmark have even more hidden unemployment in that respect than even Sweden, where “only” 3.2% (144,000) were put away in “labor market political activities” .

No one has said it yet, so I will.

Why is Bernard in trouble? 'Cause he Madoff with $50 billion of other people’s money.

(Running for cover)


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