Thursday, March 12, 2009

Madoff's Ponzi

I’m wondering what good it does for Bernard Madoff’s victims to speak at him in court. This will all happen today in a Manhattan courtroom.

Yes, he has hurt many thousands with billions in losses, but truly what assuagement does a victim receive by looking the culprit in the eye and saying you hurt me, or you ruined me, or you scoundrel or worse?

Do they think that words will harm a sociopath like Madoff or think he will have remorse because of what they say? The psychology experts will tell you no.

Will the victim’s words of anger, punctuated by emotion and tears bring back the wealth whose loss is the source of the pain? We all know it won’t, but yet our court system allows the victim to confront the accused, the culprit, and the murderer.

Madoff’s ponzi scam and his promise of untold riches on investment was the lure that attracted many victims to invest in the first place. When untold wealth or return is promised on money invested people forget the old adages that "a sucker is born every minute" and "if it’s too good to be true then it probably is."

I truly feel bad for all those individuals and institutions that invested in the Madoff scam, but I also acknowledge they have some responsibility for their actions.

Until the scam was uncovered many received phenomenal returns on their investment and that’s a Ponzi scheme; word of mouth attracts others who want in for the big money.

In many ways we are all victims for the largess of charity and generosity stops when the money does. So many have been hurt and will continue to feel the pain, but yelling at Madoff is a momentary quell that serves no purpose other than to hold the hurt.

Let it go. Let it be and get on with our lives. Bad choices are always a part of living. We just have to learn from them.

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