Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Lawyers' Dreams and Ponzi Schemes

Holman Jenkins on Madoff, the Mets and Ponzi Schemes:
To a certain kind of dyspeptic teenager, the Madoff-Mets saga will make perfect sense. Fred Wilpon, Saul Katz and siblings got their business empire, including the New York Mets, not through cleverness but luck. The cleverness was Bernie Madoff's. Their luck was to have been his patsies.

We say patsies. Irving Picard, the lawyer assigned to recover assets for Madoff's victims, calls them "willful" participants. The Wilpon-Katzes are accused of taking out $300 million in "fictitious profits," but the family is also worth much more than that, which makes them irresistible targets for the fatal "or"—they knew or should have known that Madoff was a fraud. Hence the Picard lawsuit's demand of an additional $700 million in principal the family had withdrawn over the years.
Read it all but the best part is the finish:
Ironically, Old Joe's (Kennedys) words echo more broadly today in light of a Ponzi scheme more disturbing than Madoff's. A perfect example are recent comments of Warren Buffett, Bill Gates and a group called Patriotic Millionaires for Fiscal Strength agitating for higher taxes to sustain the federal government, even though the federal fisc is saddled with commitments doomed to outrun any plausible scenario for future revenues.

Not that these agitators propose to make up the shortfall out of their own pockets even if it were possible (which it's not). They know the real money lies with the middle class—the comfortable and very comfortable, the almost rich and nearly rich. The patriotic plutocrats seem to think the rest of us should be inspired by their example to dig deep and keep the game going a while longer. They are the Wilpons of the welfare state.


Blogger Madoff Victims said...

Whether you’re one of the largest banks, or the owners of the NY Mets, or a grandma whose husband died and left you a small nest egg from his lifetime of hard work, Irving Picard will try to take whatever funds you have from you.

His excessive public relations announcements will have you think that the Madoff victims are benefiting from his actions-the fact of the matter is that only 14% of the victims will receive the monies he’s strong arming from Madoff investors.

Congressman Scott Garrett knows this and is concerned that Picard is ignoring the law in his actions.

Do you still feel your investments are safe and protected by SIPC from a fraudulent broker?

Do you think your account statement reflects the balance in your account?

Do you know that while Irving Picard is questioning and accusing JPMC and the Wilpons, that he’s also pursing innocent investors?

Do you know that there’s no guarantee that your broker is not a crook?

Read how Congress is helping and how you can support the safety of your own investments. Please sign our petition to help all investors.

February 9, 2011 at 3:24 PM 

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