Bernie Madoff: Patron Saint Of Greed

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If Madoff’s victims want to know what happened to the lost millions, possibly billions, of their money, they should stand behind President Obama’s enforcement of hidden American assets in offshore bank accounts.

[Fleming’s View]

“He’s a disgrace to the Jewish race and deserves to go to hell.”-- One of Madoff’s victims (2009)

Convicted Wall Street conman Bernie Madoff got his just punishment as the judge sentenced the graying 71-year-old thief to 150 years in prison.

He took his licking like the weasel he is. He stared straight ahead and showed no emotion. When U.S. District Judge Denny Chin lowered the boom on Madoff, he muttered a lame apology while clapping and whoops of approval cheered the sentencing.

Madoff’s lawyers pleaded to the judge for a lenient slap on the hand of 12 years, but the countless letters from the swindler’s victims told a sordid tale of a heartless man stealing from the sick, aging elderly, trusting friends, and even robbing from charities.

That sentence would have been equal to a brother robbing two liquor stores. It is estimated that Madoff’s Ponzi scheme cost his victims more than $13 billion and that doesn’t tally the millions stolen from feeder funds.

When Madoff turned around in the courtroom and offered a hollow apology, his victims moaned and grimaced at the sardonic smirk which accompanied his words. “There is nothing I can do that will make anyone feel better for the pain and suffering I caused them, but I will live with this pain, with this torment, for the rest of my life,” he said. “I apologize to my victims. I will turn and face you, I am sorry.”

When his wife, Ruthie, eventually said her words to put some distance between her and her slimy hubby, the dishonored Jewish community did not buy it. As one of Madoff’s victims countered, she knew how extravagant their life style was. Another said Ruthie had daily knowledge of Bernie’s Ponzi scheme.

“I am embarrassed and ashamed,” Ruthie said. “Like everyone else, I feel betrayed and confused. The man who committed this horrible fraud is not the man whom I have known for all these years.”

Shrewdly, Madoff tried to play the race card. He said the system was stacked against him because he was Jewish. But neither the Gentiles nor the Jews were conned by his allegation of racism. In fact, Madoff’s greed played right out to the end when he shipped at least $1 million of personal heirlooms to his brother and his sons, Mark and Andy during Hanukkah, a solemn Jewish holiday, to keep the feds from confiscating them. What a heel!

One recalls the Oliver Stone movie, “Wall Street,” when young trader Bud Fox, played by Charlie Sheen asks the veteran money manager Gordon Gekko: “How much is enough?” Gekko, portrayed by Michael Douglas, replies: “It’s not a question of enough, pal.” And that is the philosophy of greed in this age of excess. You can never make enough money or amass enough financial power at this current time.

Upon his sentencing of Madoff, the judge recalled one letter of an investor who later died of a heart attack and the big time grafter came to the man’s funeral, put his arm around the widow, and said: “Your money is safe.” The widow then invested more money with Madoff, and now she is penniless.

No one will say this, but American capitalism is founded on greed, selfishness, arrogance, and malice for the little guy. Greed begat slavery. Greed begat the Great Depression. Greed begat deregulation. Greed begat the S&L crisis. Greed begat the sinister acts of Drexel Burnham’s Mike Milken, Bernard Ebbers and Scott Sullivan of MCI WorldCom, Kenneth Lay of Enron, and Dennis Kozlowski of Tyco International .  Greed is the cause of our current economic downturn.

How much is enough? Bigger mansions, fancier cars, prettier females, more jewelry, and larger yachts. Greed has a big future. An ABC News exclusive showed how scientists have teamed with several large corporations to target the human brain to control buying and impulsive behavior. Or as the Federation of Scientists put it: “ manipulate human beings by alerting their psychological processes, controlling their behavior without the knowledge of the victims.” Frightening, to say the least.
“Greed is one of the seven deadly sins,” author Tom Wolfe said “If you feel you are a master of the universe, then a lot of the rules just don’t apply.”

Not true. If Madoff’s victims want to know what happened to the lost millions, possibly billions, of their money, they should stand behind President Obama’s enforcement of hidden American assets in offshore bank accounts. The U.S. Treasury estimates tax revenue would total about $100 billion yearly from those havens. That’s where Madoff and the other scoundrels have stashed their loot.

Wonder why the GOP and Wall Street gets upset when the president mentions the offshore assets issue. And Bernie L. Madoff, federal inmate no. 61727-057, ain’t talking about nothing. But this master of the universe is sorry, very very sorry, that he got caught.


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