“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Bernie made off

In the midst of all the tumult, we find out that Bernard made off with upwards of $50 billion. That's a lot of money. More than enough in some quarters, to off Mr. Madoff who is out on pocket change $10 million bail. It should come as no surprise that we should see finger pointing and the blame game:

WASHINGTON — Securities and Exchange Commission chairman Christopher Cox said Tuesday his agency repeatedly failed for at least a decade to pursue allegations of wrongdoing by Wall Street figure Bernard L. Madoff, the alleged perpetrator of a $50 billion Ponzi scheme.

Cox ordered a probe by the SEC's inspector general, saying the agency's staff had never brought the Madoff matter to the attention of commissioners.
Since the SEC staff never recommended that the commission open a formal investigation, subpoena power was not used to obtain information and the staff relied on information voluntarily produced by Madoff and his firm.

"I am gravely concerned by the apparent multiple failures over at least a decade to thoroughly investigate these allegations or at any point to seek formal authority to pursue them," Cox said in a statement.

In a forceful condemnation of the SEC staff, Cox said there had been credible and specific allegations regarding Madoff's financial wrongdoing going back to at least 1999.

The SEC chairman's criticism of his own agency marks only the latest instance in which federal regulators have overlooked clear warning signs of possible fraud.
Why don't we send more money to Washington? They'll protect us against the wolves like the former Chairman of the NASDAG, Mr. Bernard Madoff.

The extent of corruption, greed and incompetence is stunning. In Washington, DC, on Wall Street and even in Hometown, Main Street, USA, the downward spiral continues.


  1. I think it's more accurate to say Bernie churned through $50 billion. He did not "make off with it", but redistributed it amongst his associates and investors.

    It was a Ponzi scheme, where the funds are transfered amongst the 'investors'. Bernie was surfing that cash flow wave.

    Bernie certainly did well by his activities, no doubt, but he did not pocket the $50 billion that was 'lost'. It was not lost, merely redistributed in a free, but for the fees, market investment scam.

    I've read a lot about Madooff's scam, he's shown no remorse. It was reported that he wanted to forestall going to the authorities, until he had distributed the remaining $300 million in cash reserves, to staff, associates and favored customers.
    Seems his sons vetoed that scenario.

    As for the Federal prosecutors of Team43, their interest in Wall Street did not extend beyond Martha Stewart's misinformation to investigators. Bernie Madoff would not have supplied TV ratings they were craving, wouldn't have 'sent a message' to middle America.

  2. Bailout backlash

    The public backlash is only beginning. It will rise with every new scandal and Ponzi scheme and every new increase in credit card rates. It has already infected good judgment in the auto case, where major support is needed, tied to major plans for industry renewal.

    I do not oppose bailouts, I oppose bailouts managed with banana-republic standards of secrecy and incompetence in which recipients of massive taxpayer largesse work against those who pay for this largesse.

    Today the Federal Reserve Board refuses to disclose information regarding some $2 trillion provided to financial institutions. Bloomberg business news has filed a historic freedom-of-information case seeking disclosure. Congress and the president-elect should support it.

    Bailout money is not a private account that belongs to Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke, Fed governors, the Treasury secretary or the banks. It is the people’s money. It should be used to benefit the people. It should be monitored through the checks and balances of the democratic process.

    Secrecy is the enemy of equity, integrity and common sense. Secrecy is the friend of negligence, misjudgment and corruption. There are probably selected instances where the Fed should not disclose, but show me $2 trillion of secretly spent money and I will show you trouble.

    In the coming days I will be writing about the Bloomberg case and offering specific bailout proposals on The Hill’s Pundits Blog. The backlash is coming. Time is short. The dangers are extreme.

    America needs new thinking and an informed national consensus — and we need it now.

    Brent Budowsky was an aide to former Sen. Lloyd Bentsen and Bill Alexander, then chief deputy majority whip of the House. He holds an LL.M. degree in international financial law from the London School of Economics.

  3. Martha, Ramos, and Campeon. if Martha had been Male and Hispanic, he'd still be a Male in Jail.

  4. The Fed goes on to say it will purchase large quantities of agency debt -- meaning Fannie and Freddie -- and more mortgage-backed securities (quite possibly toxic assets). In other words, it wants to drive mortgage rates down. What's more, the Fed may buy long-term Treasury securities, also to drive bond yields lower. And it will purchase the Term Asset Backed Securities Loan Facility in order to finance consumer-related bonds and pump liquidity to consumer lenders.

    The message here is that Bernanke & Co. is locked and loaded, ready to shoot every last bullet to help credit markets and the economy. In particular, the Fed is formally adopting a Milton Friedman-type approach that is directed at expanding its balance sheet and stimulating the economy.

    The Fed's balance sheet already has more than doubled from roughly $900 billion to $2.2 trillion. For all we know it may soon double again. Money-supply measures are already growing at 7 to 8 percent.

    And while some economists worry about higher future inflation from all this money-creation, Tuesday's consumer price report actually showed deflation of 10 percent annually over the past three months. That gives the central bank ammunition to ignore inflation and aim instead for a massive monetary easing.

    Shock-and-Awe Easing
    By Lawrence Kudlow

    From 15 in 18 months to:
    Money-supply measures are already growing at 7 to 8 percent.

    A manufactored crisis, but for whose benefit, other than the Fed's owners?

  5. Slippery fingers ...

    From 1% in 18 months to:
    Money-supply measures are already growing at 7 to 8 percent.

  6. Jindall and Palin should demand to know where that measley 2 Trillion Went.

  7. What makes those two so special, doug?

    We should all demand to know where the money went and continues to flow to.

  8. Better to ask who's the best mushroom picker:

  9. We should all demand.
    Jindal is special because he's the most qualified Pol to become POTUS.

    Palin lights up the troops.
    AND brother Al-Bob.

  10. ...'course the country will have degraded so much over 4 years, that down will look up,
    so Jindal will have missed his chance to save the Republic.
    As we all have.

  11. the Republic..

    It's no longer a democracy?

  12. Never was.
    Thank God. we got a good 200 yr run.
    But now the Republic bites in the ass.
    All things must pass.

  13. How long until Matthews gives up his chair at MSSNBC?
    End of '09, October or November would be my guess.

    Will duece be able to rally his fifty vote bloc, again, for another liberal Republican?

    Another "Washingtonian".

    With Senator Specter as the Republican;s incumbent candidate.
    Arlen Specter, another Senator whom exemplifies the Republican Party policy positions on:

    On the immigration issue, Specter supports a "pathway to citizenship" and a "guest worker program" which opponents call amnesty. He introduced Senate bill S. 2611 (the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2006) on 6 April 2006, which was passed by the Senate on 25 May 2006 before reaching a stalemate in the House. He supports affirmative action and voted for the Civil Rights Act of 1990. (wiki)

  14. Never was.
    Thank God.

    Good. Glad you don't have any pretensions.

  15. What is so sacrosanct about

  16. The "democacy" rhetoric part of progressive agenda, mat.

    But you were not interested in how what we have came to be. Which is instructive in how to "change" it, again.

    The opposition is well entrenched within the System, there is no popular demand for a system change.
    Barely a whisper. Some "change" is desired on the margins, but only for the 'better'.

    On a very short time horizon.

  17. What is so sacrosanct about

    Nothing at all. It's all commie propaganda.

  18. Flight 93 Heros were traitors.

  19. But you were not interested in how what we have came to be.

    I'm not interested in perception. I'm interested in reality. And the reality isn't very flattering.

  20. (Unintended Traitors, but Traitors in fact.)
    (not morally culpable, for that was not their nobel intent.)

  21. The present reality is not flattering.
    The Legacy, unsurpassed.

  22. Solar Power System in Nevada Desert Reaches Grid Parity

    At least according to the calculations of one analyst, a 12.5 MW solar power system installed by First Solar for Sempra Generation produces electricity at a lower cost, without any subsidies, than conventional fossil fuel generated power. Mark Bachman, at Pacific Crest, concluded that the electricity from the First Solar system cost $0.075 per kilowatt hour to install, while conventional power cost $0.09 per kWh.

  23. Bernie Madoff...what a name. I guess that name destined him for such action. Ole Bernie made off with ...

    I ran across this great video of Bernie at BC:

  24. I quess I'm one of those uncompassinate ones that Savage was savaging yesterday for lacking sympathy for the bilked. How could a person be so dumb as to turn over the life's savings? My wife says they were all a bunch of greedies and almost deserved it when Bernie made off with their goods.

    I've never seen Jidal talk. Don't know what his voice sounds like. I'd bet it's kind of high and squeeky, nothing wrong with that. Maybe he's a baritone.

    He was just bilking Jews?

    We got a big winter storm warning here. Hell's supposed to break loose in an hour or so. In the islamic outlook hell's a cold place, not warm.

  25. Cooley says that before Rod Blagojevich got into politics he was a bookmaker on the North Side who regularly paid the Chicago mob to operate.

    Blago Was A Bookie

    This is the guy The Big
    Zero backed for
    Governor. Blago use to pay the 'street tax' to a dude named Bobby "The Boxer" Abonati.

    Nice video report.

    The One is The Man of the Year, over at Time Magazine.

    Hope, Change and Transparency you can believe in, eh, Ash?

  26. Consumer Confidence Index sinks in tandem with the temperatures around here--

    Consumer Confidence Sets Record Low For Second Straight Day

    How low can consumer confidence go? The Rasmussen Consumer Index, which measures the economic confidence of consumers on a daily basis, dropped another half-point on Wednesday after setting a record low on Tuesday. At 56.8, the Consumer Index is down four points from a week ago, four points from a month ago, and twenty-six points from three months ago.

  27. From most of the comments in this Pajamas Media Article On McCain it would seem that without Sarah Palin he wouldn't have gotten any votes at all.


  28. Obama plans end of any and all anti-abortion programs, wants to force care givers to act against their own conscience. Here

    Obama = a disaster for America.

    Got to get to the bank before the snow starts. Later....

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