Wednesday, February 11, 2009

The Madoff mystery

The Madoff mystery today is not where the money is or what happened. It's gone and he's a major league criminal. The mystery is his current status. Today there are differing credible reports that his wife withdrew $10 million or $15 million from an account at one of the Madoff feeders funds days before his admission. Madoff was a co-founder of this fund.

The mystery has been and remains why he lives in his penthouse with complete freedom to eat, drink, meet, and work in any way he wants within his, by most standards, grandiose setting. He has an ankle bracelet and has given up his passport but WE THE TAXPAYERS ARE PAYING FOR 24 HOUR SURVEILLANCE BY THE FBI TO MAKE SURE THAT HE DOESN'T ESCAPE AND PREVENT ANY OF HIS INVESTORS FROM TAKING HIM OUT(killing him). That's 24 hour security at experienced professional prices, plus, the governments incomparable benefit package.

His indictment has just been postponed. Are there intricacies of his first admission that his attorneys are exploiting to gain advantage. Are the prosecutors still trying to plea him into revealing and explaining co-conspirators. I just finished "The White Tiger", the Man Booker prize winner, and it reminded me of Madoff. While corruption is pervasive at every level in India according to this novel, did Madoff through his guile and his money create a level of influence such that he is above the law, like the freedom seeking protagonist in the book. At the wealthiest levels, are we like the India described in "The White Tiger".

It's just impossible, at this point, to figure out how this con man could not be in prison. As with Balram Halwai, Bernie Madoff must have the intelligence to learn how the worst part of the system worked and exploited it, and taken a sociopath's contented approach to life. Madoff is still winning big time; what a mystery.

Maybe the FBI director and some Federal judges should be pulled before congressional panels to explain why taxpayers are paying for this guy's premium security arrangement. What Madoff has accomplished with New York judges(immune I know) and the FBI seems like fair game given the time spent today attempting to humiliate bankers who, despite the effects of the economic collapse, have spent their entire very public careers in compliance with all regulatory and legal mandates.


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