Wednesday, December 17, 2008

The Madness of Madoff: See Steven Pearlstein -- Madoff's Lesson for the Market -- http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/12/16/AR2008121602875.html?hpid=topnews
This is an EXCELLENT article to which I wrote a response:

Mr. Pearlstein I surely could not have written a better editorial myself. Your article is, pardon the pun, right on the money. It is so well written. After hearing about the Madoff scandal I remembered my mother's echoes "Sha (quiet), do not talk about the Rosenbergs." I wonder, a generation later because I am a Jew, why did I want to run and hide after reading about the Madoff disreputable and illegal behaviors. After all it had nothing to do with me as, unfortunately, I am NOT one of those stereotypical Jews who anti Semites say is bathing in bucks. Still, I felt mud splattered on my face by his egregious behavior simply because I am a Jew even though I didn't even make (or lose) a cent from it.

When one truly reflects on its substance, I submit, this simply is a reflection of who we are as a nation. When history is written of this sad time, long after I am gone, it will be said that not only the financial markets were corrupt but EVERYTHING was corrupt. America, probably for much of our history,could be bought. Whether it was slavery, trust busting, Boss Tweed, Tameny Hall, the Keating Savings and Loan, Enron, Iraq, Blackwater, crony no bid contracts, multiple Congressional scandals, Abramoff, Duke Cunningham, Stevens, Wall Street credit default swaps, Standard & Poors and Moody conflict of interest rating systems, no strings attached 700 billion dollar loans floating in the breeze, Blagovich and now Madoff (the list goes on), simply put NO ONE but NO ONE ran the store or cared as long as people made money. The proverbial foxes in our political and financial sectors guard the chicken coops while the taxpayers go like lambs to their slaughter.

I believe it is intrinsic in the very nature of our country. People are slightly envious when other people make big bucks even IF they make it in dubious ways. Perhaps, most especially when they beat the system. I think there are some who secretly wish they could have gotten away with it too. They continually elect the all powerful to advance that system. Mayor Curley one of the most corrupt mayors in Boston history ruled from his jail cell and people to this day have a spark of admiration for him. Even Al Capone shares a mythic grandeur. George Bush is exemplar supreme but surely he is not the only one.

Will this ever become a better country? Maybe Barack Obama is the answer. I hope so. I surely do know it is not the fault of the Jews. Unfortunately, I believe it is in the country's soul. Americans have a very very short memory. Unless this hits home in their pocketbooks for generational time -- and it just may -- then I submit, it will be forgotten when the Dow reaches 11,000 once again.