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CalCarp

What did Bernie Madoff do to get jail, different from what AIG did to get billions of tax dollars?

Both companies took in peoples' investment money, failed to responsibly invest it, and then couldn't pay the balance sheets when the customers came back to get paid on their claims.Bernie is likely to get life in jail.AIG execs got 170 million dollars in "bonus" cash.Is this "justice"?
Angiemaritza:

AIG had investments that tanked. Bernie just pretended to have invested his clients $. But it was a big facade.

CalCarp:

Bernie put his clients' money in a Chase Manhattan Bank account.
Interest was paid on that account.
How is that a lesser "investment" than AIG's losing 170 Billion?

CalCarp:

no, it seems Bernie's real mistake was that he ADMITTED his frailures.

Truth kills.

Angiemaritza:

Bernie Madoff confessed on Dec. 11 to running the biggest Ponzi scheme ever. Named for a prominent practitioner, Charles Ponzi (1882-1949), the con artist in this game builds a pyramid of investors by paying very high returns from the cash inflows from new investors. There is no source of real value creation; early investors profit from the gullibility of later investors. As word spreads of the high returns, an investment bubble is created: Investors throw their money into the scheme.

CalCarp:

Yes, we all know what a Ponzi is, so? ..Isn't it ALL a Ponzi?

That is like saying "I'm a slave for wages", ..or "Christmas is commercial".
Those phrases don't really add any particular knowledge, do they?
Aren't they just a cynical opinion of our entire economy?
People win and people lose, ..investment is a gamble, ..everybody is dying to get those "big returns", ..if you bet and lost, ..learn to lose.

Keep the government away from "picking and choosing" the winners in the private transactions of individuals out there trying to profit on their business gamblings. It is a waste of time and money. The balance sheets will more than accurately reveal who won and who lost.

20 years ago we started a "payroll alternative" (..for many varied reasons) of giving lay people "investment cash/credit" (..sometimes company matched) in lieu of immediately taxable "paychecks". That produced a 100 million workers trying to decide what mutual fund to deposit their lucre.

Many chose wrong.

I-know-it:

They should all share a cell in the same posh jail.

CalCarp:

yes, ..I know, ..and in the way of "All things great and small", ..I guess it is fair to say that we are all ALREADY in a jail, just about as much as we are "living free".

I think the "salvation" is to figure a way to keep a smile about it all, ..like you do.

I-know-it:

Good point, smiling.

Wes:

Tyrants always justify a despots conviction.

CalCarp:

"conviction" as in "belief"? ..or "determination"??
Who was it that had "conviction"?
..or who is the tyrant? ..Madoff? ..AIG Exec? ..Timothy Geithner?
(..is it ME?? ..you?????)
The Judge? (..Chin)
..or is this some kind of "Trilateral Commission" conspiracy?
--
I'll admit that we are all wallowing in mud, ..I think that is just the way of the world, .."nasty, brutish, and short".
But I believe we are ALL in it, ..no one excepted!
A "tyrant" is just someone who splashes the mud with extra personal relish.

And except for those few flowers over there, growing randomly by the side of life's mosh pit, ..there would be very little to smile about.

Thank God for those flowers!

Ginger:

You go to jail for breaking laws. If people went to jail for screwing up, we would all be there.

CalCarp:

Oh, ..I see, .."black and white", eh? ..it's that easy?
--
AIG broke no laws as they "lost" 200 Billion dollars?
They "stretched" no truths? ..padded no books? ..ill-advised no clients?

They were acting "responsibly" when they misplaced that money?
--
And what about Madoff?
Did you know much of that "money stole" was just imaginary gains in someone's account?
He is an old man, who was once very successful, but who was now asked (..and who mistakingly tried) to manage billions of dollars on a corner office notepad (..the newspaper reported he employed only ONE "active accountant"!)

He dreamed of gold! ..Like so many of us! ..Like every one of those AIG Execs!

Go ahead, ..let him fall, ..maybe we will all get a relief seeing somebody big suffer, ..and then we can feel better about rewarding all those Execs at AIG.

Ginger:

Madoff broke laws. If it is found that there are peopl eat AIG who broke laws, I am confident that they will be prosecuted as our laws direct.

Yes, as for the matter of who goes to jail, it is black and white. Our judicial system, penalties and protections, applies to everyone.

CalCarp:

"..applies to everyone", ..yes, that's right, ..I do remember when Martha Stewart got her jail time "..in the interest of justice".

Meanwhile, some current administration figures have refused to pay their taxes, ..and what did THEY get? ..Fed jobs??

I guess no one in Washington needed a decorative glitter pinecone, or a nice apple pie.

Did that NY Attorney General ever do jail time for spending taxpayer money on hookers? ....He did spend taxpayer money, didn't he?
---
Madoff should give monies back due to his failure to perform business duties.
AIG execs should do exactly the same.
All of those parties took money for jobs which they did not perform.
( ..Kind of like public school teachers? ..or Congressional "reformers"?)
--
Let's stop picking out one person, ..beating them good, ..and then going right on back to the same "business as usual".

Now THAT would be "change"!

CalCarp:

..and in fairness, ..let's get specific:

Today's Journal reports Madoff's main crime as "filing false SEC reports".

But isn't that what ALL these "bailout businesses" had been doing for years?

I say that because I believe a "false reporting" can be called anytime a company publishes "rosy projections", or "asset holdings" that are not really measured in hard money.
That is very wrong, ..but, I believe, just TOO prevalent!

Did Bernard Madoff take that abuse further than all the others?
--
The problem is: I fear we throw someone up, generate a lot of hate against him, slake our primal need for aggression, ..and then sit back down and watch it all continue on once more, ..until someone once again decides its time to get everyone up and mad again.

..to "serve justice".
--
Oh well.
--

Ginger:

To got to jail you first break a law. An existing law. So, at this point, what "LAW" do we suspect was broken by whom at AIG? Jail is not just a place where you stick people that p**s you off. We have a justice system that is supposed to be applied equally to all.

CalCarp:

I'm happy that you're happy, Ginger, ..all is well!
And if you smell nothing "rotten in Denmark", ..then so be it!
--
Let's just go ahead and hang Bernie Madoff, ..reward AIG with the million dollar bonuses, ..and get ourselves back to producing more earmarks!!

We don't want our Congress to sit idle, do we?
--
And the next time "the people" once again start questioning disreputable practices, ..we'll surely be able to find someone else to burn for those newly adopted sins!

And peace will then come, once again! ..It's that easy!
--

Ginger:

You sure can mix the apples with the oranges.

All I am saying is that you go to jail if you break the law. If you do not break the law, you do not go to jail. Is that wrong? So what is wrong with that????

CalCarp:

What I see as wrong, is your insistence that Bernard Madoff DID break laws (..is NOT "innocent until found guilty") for losing what is expected to be much less than 50 Billion; while at the same time you insist that the AIG execs broke NO laws as they lost more than 200 Billion!

How are you arriving at your beliefs?

If you want to compare apples and oranges, ..I'll note that those are both fruits bearing internal seeds, which grow into similar sized trees, bearing similar sized and presented products, which are harvested in similar manners, ..and that both of them are made into wonderful breakfast drinks, and as such quite commonly sit side by side in our refrigerators.

In a similar fashion, both Bernie Madoff and the AIG execs received clients' funds, failed to secure them, overvalued their asset accounts, and bankrupted their clients.

For this, Madoff will go to jail for life, ..but the AIG execs were given million dollar bonuses by Congress!

Is there justice in that?

Bewitched:

Justice usully only affects those without money. There is a lot of truth in the saying, "Justice is blind."

CalCarp:

I'll take that to mean "Justice usually only CRUSHES those without money", ..and there is a lot of truth in that.
--
Sorry, ..but I don't believe courtroom "justice" is blind.
I don't think it ever has been, nor ever will.
We can only try to keep such a dream as a goal, ..and fight for it as often as we find the energy.
Usually that means "fighting for it" for ourselves, ..but in the Ayn'ish view, maybe that is the best, or the ONLY way we really can shoulder that task.

Keep on truckin'.

BUD 28:

Its one of Gods irrefutable laws. All the crap rolls downhill. AIG plays in the unregulated, backroom, off the books, $700 trillion dollar casino game called derivatives. What happens if this game folds?

CalCarp:

When the games end, ..there will be winners and losers, ..you are right.

Johnny Appleseed planted trees, ..some of those are still with us!

I hope the new Education Secretary (Arne Duncan) has the right spirit of value.
That's our most precious investment.

CalCarp:

I agree, ..or better yet: "Stop stupidly subsidizing",
..as I believe those "bailed-out" Execs are NOT stupid,
(..Just look at all the money they are putting in their pockets!!)

The people passing around these billions, are very smart, and very happy.
Their kids go to private schools! ..they got the best home mortgage deals!!
And many of them still don't pay all their taxes! ..or student loans!
--
No, we are not "subsidizing stupidity", ..we are "stupidly subsidizing"!!
--
oh well,..
--

CalCarp:

P.s.,
Please do not consider these comments as advocating "class warfare".
I think class warfare is a mistake: In proper times, being "rich" means a lot of people picked YOUR goods or service as the best purchase for them, and you are deservedly the recipient of the payments from many happy customers.

But when you are enriched through the receipt of tax monies because you went bankrupt, then that means you were NOT selected by very many people as the best provider, of the best goods and service.

You just couldn't get it right, or get it done, and you failed.
Your customers wanted their money back, and you went bankrupt.

Thank you, Howdy, for calling the public money which bails out those bankrupt goods and service providers for what it is: "Subsidizing stupidity".

Marlie:

Stop Subsidizing Stupidity

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