What does 50 billion dollars get you?


aircraft_carrierThe more I think about Bernard Madoff and his crime of stealing 50 billion dollars of other people’s money the more I’m amazed at what he got away with.  Fifty billion dollars gets you about 10 Nimitz class nuclear powered aircraft carriers and I don’t see anything like that  parked in front of his NYC apartment or in the garage of any of his houses or those of his relatives.  So in addition to wondering how much is 50 billion US dollars is the question, where did it go? That’s a whole lot of money.  Even if it’s squirreled away somewhere, there’s no chance Madoff himself will be able to use it since he’ll be in prison for the rest of his life, and at 70 years of age, that might not be long.

Finally there’s the question, how did this guy manage to steal such a large amount of money from so many people over so long a period of time without getting caught?  The  answer is Madoff has connections who ignored pleas to  officials over a number of years of Madoff’s crimes that he was crooked.  Let’s not forget we’re not talking about a couple of million dollars.  At the time officials were warned Madoff had already squandered several billion dollars and as early as 2001 people were saying there’s something rotten in Denmark with this guy.  Now, I would just love to blame the Republicans for this 50 billion heist because they were the ones who were negligent, and ignored Madoff until the end of Bush’s term.  But accounts claim that Democrats were the recipients of Madoff’s stolen money with contributions he gave to Democratic office holders/seekers, so the responsibility for regulatory blinders  is  no doubt shared.  The question then becomes, is there anyone  in government who thinks it’s wrong to steal 50 billion dollars?  Apparently not. Are all politicians and their political appointees  that crooked?  Apparently so. Fifty billion dollars can buy a lot of influence as well.  Spread out over several decades among money hungry, greedy politicians, no doubt that amount of money can vanish, but with huge rewards for the one distributing it.  It wouldn’t take much for a politician to turn a blind eye to repeated requests to investigate someone who is lining their pockets with untoward amounts of money.

I’ve often read about sleeper cells of Islamic terrorists in the US, which haven’t been discovered yet by the way despite the repeated claims of their existence, but Madoff’s financial manipulation and graft are on a scale that Muslims and any other terrorists would “die” for.  Quite simply, Madoff’s stolen money was used to influence legislation for Madoff’s interests and those of his clients.  He did that while wearing expensive suits, a firmly entrenched member of the financial side of society who was loved and respected by all, yet he bought politicians and advanced causes, especially his own, that were in direct contravention to the interests of America.  He should be water boarded until he tells us where the money went, to whom and for what purpose.  Nothing less than that should be acceptable.

Turnabout is fair play, isn’t it?


Some Jewish leaders are a little concerned the fraud and resulting news about  Bernard Madoff will spur some anti-semitism among the masses.  Inflaming passions based on innuendo is something they are used to doing.

It was greed that killed the Beast


Fifty billion dollars to be stolen by ONE man is a lot of money.  How did he get away with that?!!?!?  It really boils down to that fact that Bernard Madoff played on the greed of his investors who forked over huge sums of money in hopes of even larger returns.  The old adage if it’s too good to be true means it usually is was ignored by many who saw visions of large dollar signs flashing before their eyes.  Madoff was a consummate con man, but his deceit didn’t fool everyone.

Hedge fund investment adviser Aksia LLC warned clients not to put their money with Bernard Madoff after learning of “red flags” at his company, including that its books were audited by a three-person accounting firm. Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC used Friehling & Horowitz, an auditor operating out of a 13-by-18 foot location in an office park in New York City’s northern suburbs.

New York-based Aksia urged clients last year not to invest with Madoff’s firm after learning the identity of the New City, New York-based auditor, according to Jake Walthour, head of advisory services at Aksia. Friehling & Horowitz included one partner in his late 70s who lives in Florida, a secretary, and one active accountant, Aksia said.

“Our judgment was swift given the extensive list of red flags,” Aksia wrote Dec. 11 in a letter to clients.

Aksia’s Jim Vos said he spent several months probing Madoff’s firm on behalf of clients, only to recommend against investing in it. Vos, who had an investigator stake out the New City office, said eight “feeder funds” invested about $15 billion with Madoff. Vos declined to name the clients.

“I’m shocked by how investors turned a blind eye to returns that were too good to be true, constant steady small positive monthly returns,” Vos said. “When something is too good to be true, it probably is.”

It’s interesting that red flags were galore but only now, amidst all the other bad economic news is this getting any play in the media.  in my wildest dreams the scenario playing out in my head is the corporate media is finally getting their revenge on a Bush administration which had so easily manipulated it for every conceivable illegal and immoral purpose, and like a woman scorned has decided to get back at its former lover with all the bad news a President concerned with his legacy cannot afford.  Possibly, however, something more sinister than that is at play with the release of all of the bad news at the end of a president’s tenure, but I can’t say what it is…..yet.

Another day another couple of billion dollars


I read stories like this, Wealth of richest Arabs plunged in 2008

The wealth of the richest Arabs plunged in 2008, with Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, the richest of all, seeing his investments shrivel nearly 20 percent, according to a list published in Dubai on Sunday.

The Saudi prince’s wealth has shrunk by four billion dollars to 17.08 billion under the impact of this year’s global financial turmoil, Arabian Business online magazine said in a survey of the richest 50 Arab people.

The combined assets of the top 50 have plummetted by 25 billion dollars or 12 percent to 199.48 billion dollars, based on data calculated on December 2, the magazine said.

Despite his losses, Prince Alwaleed remains top of the list, though his wealth sank twice as much as that of second placed Nasser al-Kharafi, a Kuwaiti businessman whose value is estimated to have dropped by two billion dollars to 9.6 billion.

In May, Prince Alwaleed ranked 19 in the Forbes list of world billionaires with 21 billion dollars. His wealth includes a five percent stake in the troubled US banking giant Citigroup and a private Airbus superjumbo A380, dubbed as the “flying palace” and valued at 330 million dollars.

and am forced to remind one and all that all of those “Arabs” losses put together don’t equal what this one guy swindled from American investors!

Bernard Madoff, a quiet force on Wall Street for decades, was arrested and charged on Thursday with allegedly running a $50 billion “Ponzi scheme” in what may rank among the biggest fraud cases ever.

The former chairman of the Nasdaq Stock Market is best known as the founder of Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC, the closely-held market-making firm he launched in 1960. But he also ran a hedge fund that U.S. prosecutors said racked up $50 billion of fraudulent losses.

Madoff told senior employees of his firm on Wednesday that “it’s all just one big lie” and that it was “basically, a giant Ponzi scheme,” with estimated investor losses of about $50 billion, according to the U.S. Attorney’s criminal complaint against him.