Two days ago I posted what I thought was an exaggerated case of avarice by departing Merrill-Lynch CEO John Thain; but before the ink could dry Mr. Thain has been trumped not once, but twice in the competition for unconscionable acts of greed.
BLAGOJEVICH’S SENATE SALE
On Wednesday, the FBI announced the arrest of Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich for trying to sell Barack Obama’s senate seat. First Sarah’s jet, now Barack’s senate seat, what else could our crazy governors put up on eBay?
Elegant, stately building for sale, historic setting, convenient Capitol Hill location, rotunda and portico included. Ideal for conversion to luxury condominium. Asking $76 million.
HATS OFF TO MADOFF
Now this morning I woke up fo find that the FBI had arrested longstanding Wall Street leader Bernard Madoff for running a $50 BILLION “Ponzi scheme”, which basically robbed Peter to pay Paul. When too many Peters and Pauls opted to cash in at the same time, they totally cashed out the hollow hedge fund.
The really scary part is that Madoff was formerly the chairman of NASDAQ and responsible for the industry’s self regulatory system. A clear case of the wolf guarding the hens.
At his arrest Madoff, with atypical honesty, admitted that;
“There is no innocent explanation.” He went on to confess that it was all his fault, and that he “paid investors with money that wasn’t there.”
THE PONZI SCHEME
A Ponzi scheme is a fraudulent investment operation that involves paying abnormally high returns to investors out of the money paid in by subsequent investors, rather than from net revenues generated by any real business. It is named after Charles Ponzi. (Wikipedia)