I watched a story this weekend about Bernie Madoff, the man behind the largest Ponzi scheme ever perpetrated. During the story, the city of West Palm Beach, Florida was mentioned and stated that investors there lost approximately 17 billion dollars in the scheme. During individual interviews, bilked investors stated that they could not believe the dishonesty of Madoff. This immediately reminded me of the old saying "I can get it for you wholesale." Although the fraud perpetrated by Madoff is indeed a sad story, I can't help but believe that some of the losses were self imposed. These people were receiving astronomical returns on their monies in an otherwise ho-hum market. It is impossible for me to believe that wealthy, sophisticated investors were unable to ascertain that something either illegal or highly suspect was happening. Additionally, huge commissions earned by stockbrokers could have easily caused them to ignore red flag warnings that were popping up everywhere.
Greed is a powerful drug that almost always leads to ruin. Investors receiving very large returns on their monies would find it difficult to walk away from such a large cash cow and profit would obviously cloud their judgement. The investors now are organizing and there is talk about the government "bailing out" people who lost their monies in the Madoff Ponzi scheme. Some of the proposed requests are legitimate. Investors are asking the government to return taxes that were paid on "paper profits' that turned out to be fraudulent.
The other request by investors for a "bail out" of their losses in the Madoff scheme is illogical and should not be given. More than one-half of Madoff investors either made money or broke even. Any thoughts of a "bail out" of investors whose knowledge that astronomical profits in a dubious market were borderline illegal is insane, at best.
It boils down to the old adage, "Ya puts down ya money and ya takes ya chances." Caveat Emptor! Let the greedy buyer beware! General Motors (GM) will now be referred to as Government Motors after filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy today. GM will rely on an additional 30 billion dollars in government help on top of the 20 million dollars already received in the form of low interest loans. This will give the Federal Government a 60 percent ownership in the corporation.
In typical government fashion, white house press secretary Robert Gibbs said the government will not play a role in the day to day running of GM. This logic is about as intelligent as giving your children the food shopping money and letting them choose what to buy. Another fine example of your U.S. tax dollars at work in a socialist minded administration. This Date In History: 1794; The Royal Navy, led by Richard, Earl Howe, defeats the French fleet at the Battle of Ushant, an event also known as "The Glorious First of June". 1831; Polar explorer James Clark Ross discovers the north Magnetic Pole, then on the Boothia Peninsula, in northern Canada. 1938; Superman, created by two Cleveland youngsters, the writer Jerry Siegel and the artist Joe Shuster, makes his first-ever appearance in Action Comics. 1943 Film star Leslie Howard is killed when his aeroplane is shot down by the Luftwaffe in the Bay of Biscay. 1967; The Beatles release their landmark album, Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. Picture Of The Day: Greed and stupidity often go hand in hand and so I thought I'd show you some graphics emphasizing that thought. I am constantly amazed at things some people do for the once almighty dollar and one of the few ways to relieve these burdensome thoughts is through the use of the wonderful world of well thought out graphics. In these photoshop inspired graphics, some times a picture is worth well more than a thousand words.
Birthdays: Brigham Young, American religious leader 1801, Mikhail Glinka, Russian composer 1804, John Masefield, author and poet 1878, John Drinkwater, dramatist and poet 1882, Frank Whittle, British aeronautical engineer and co-inventor of the jet engine 1907, Marilyn Monroe, American actress 1926.
Printable Things I Never Told You: 1) Over the years, I have come to the conclusion that the shin's only real purpose is the ability to find a coffee table in the dark of night. 2) On Wednesday (for some reason pronounced winsday), I will tell you how I learned to loathe the name "Louis Vuitton". 3) I have yet to understand why only minorities experience racism. 4) It scares me when my body makes the same noises as my coffeemaker. 5) One of the best lessons I ever learned while cooking is never to fry bacon naked.
The Hits Just Keep On Coming:
A highway patrolman pulled up alongside a speeding car on the freeway. As the officer peered through the driver's window, he was astounded to find that the blonde behind the wheel was knitting.
The trooper cranked down his window and yelled to the blonde, "Pull over!" The blonde yelled back, "No, it's a scarf!" A blonde, brunette and redhead woman decided to compete in the Breast Stroke division of the English Channel swim competition. The brunette came in first, the redhead second. The blonde finally reached the shore completely exhausted.
After being revived with blankets and a drink she remarked, "I don't want to complain, but I'm pretty sure those other two girls used their arms.
A pretty blonde decides to try horseback riding, even though she has had no lessons or prior experience. She mounts the horse, unassisted, and the horse immediately springs into motion. It gallops along at a steady and rhythmic pace, but the blonde begins to slip from the saddle.
In terror, she grabs for the horse's mane, but cannot seem to get a firm grip. She tries to throw her arms around the horse's neck, but she slides down the side of the horse anyway. The horse gallops along, seemingly impervious to its slipping rider.
Finally, giving up her frail grip, the blonde attempts to leap away from the horse and throw herself to safety. Unfortunately, her foot has become entangled in the stirrup, and she is now at the mercy of the horse's pounding hooves as her head is struck against the ground over and over.
As her head is battered against the ground, she is mere moments away from unconsciousness when to her great fortune Bill, the Wal-Mart greeter, sees her and unplugs the horse.
That's it for today, my little tater tots. More On Wednesday.
Stay Tuned !