Friday, January 09, 2009

The United States of Ponzi-dom

Yet another exciting chapter in this bitter comedy! Tell me, should we be laughing or crying?
The above link is a story about investors in Madoff’s collapsed scheme who got out in time with net profits. Raises interesting ethical issues: Isn’t that the perfect economic crime? You get something for nothing yet are not culpable. That is, you could theoretically catch a ride on a Ponzi scheme and then successfully jump off a winner before it collapses and therefore NOT feel guilty of wrongdoing! It’s a win/win! Because, after all, Madoff and his shills are the wrongdoers, not investors such as yourself…. Or that could be your rationale, at least. It’s the pigs who engineer the Ponzi who are guilty, right?… not the poor chumped out rubes sucked into the scheme. If a rube such as yourself is smart enough to get out while the going is good, how can you be deemed guilty? You took your chances of getting reamed along with the rest of the suckers, didn’t you?
On the other hand, anyone participating in a Ponzi scheme, even if he doesn’t know in advance that it is a Ponzi scheme, is either a fool or a crook or both. “If every man is served after his deserts, none shall ’scape whipping.”
It turns out the lucky ones, the net winners, are liable for others’ losses. That is, the smarties, the net-gainers, have to return their ill-gotten profits. But what about a firm like Amway, which is nothing but a giant soap and bullshit based Ponzi scheme? When will THOSE winners be made to return their jillions in net profits?
If all the netgainers from Ponzi schemes had to return their goodies, we’d have to redistribute just about every frigging simoleon in Amerika. Because, after all, these ARE the The United States of Ponzi-dom. The trick is knowing when to jump off the bus before it runs off the cliff. …And learning how to stuff your guilt so you can sleep at night. Of course it helps to be a sociopath. Then you don’t have any guilt to stuff, just ill-gotten gains!
“Behind every great fortune is a great crime.” —Balzac


Post a Comment

<< Home