50,000,000,000 goes poof.

December 15, 2008

to think that one man can lose that much money is staggering. allegedly madoff falsified reports from a secretive money management service that he owned — run separately from his main stock transaction firm — to make it appear to be more successful than it was. madoff allegedly kept it going by taking cash from unwitting new investors to pay customers who wanted to redeem their holdings. this ponzi scheme was the ultimate f### you to its investors. and even though madoff is primarily at fault, i also feel like the victims should assume some accountability. from the few articles i've read, there were some warnings and red flags issued from various sources about the viability of madoff's investments. but when you're making money in a volatile, down-turning market, what does it matter how and why your returns are inexplicably growing? it's certainly not fair to put all the blame on the mostly well-established investors, but their inner voices had to be telling them their returns weren't straight. some of the investments were for charities, and now speaking from experience, we'll take almost any money. i guess sometimes greed and/or passion for our cause wins over analyzing who the money is from and how we got it. but maybe this scandal will be our huge wake up call since it hits so close to why we're flailing right now. it would be nice if we could rely on the morality of our lenders alone, but since we so obviously can't (see sub-prime mortgage crisis), we have to stop blaming others for our ill thought out plans and start making rational decisions. all that said, madoff (pronounced 'made-off'- insert late night joke here) is rightfully about to get his ass kicked in several ways.

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