Friday, January 09, 2009

Making off with Rich's riches

It's just too delicious, as in: set a thief to rob a thief.

Turns out Bernie Madoff has made off with 10 to 15 million buckaroonies of Marc Rich's stolen booty. How sweet is THAT? And the hedge fund manager who got swindler Rich entangled with swindler with Madoff is named Merkin. The names are unbeatable.

You remember richie Rich, dontcha? He's the slimeball who fled to Switzerland to evade U.S. prosecution for financial crimes, meaning mega-theft, back in 1983. Yup, the same guy whose curvy blonde ex-wife Denise Rich used to fundraise for Bubba Clinton while simultaneously taking care of some of Bill's other prodigious appetites. Which is why the Clintonator disgraced the final days of his administration, again, by awarding Rich a presidential, gag me with a spoon, pardon.

Turds of a feather flock together.

And now we learn that not only was Bernie using his house arrest to ship jillions in jewels to his family and thus evade creditors, but when he was arrested on 11 December he had $173 million in personal checks sitting in his desk drawer made out to his beloved relatives--- kindly holiday bonuses, yes, from the Bad Santa of Wall Street. One minute it's so sweeeeeet to be related to Bernie, the next, so sour.

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

A new star on the horizon

Anais Mitchell and Rachel Ries singing "O My Star!"

Click here: YouTube - Anais Mitchell & Rachel Ries - O My Star!

An instant classic. It seems to have already existed in the memory and the history of the nation. Is it a new acquaintance, or have we known this song forever, in our bones, in an alternate America? Evocative, mysterious, lyrical, sweetly haunting. For travellers, sufferers, dreamers, everywhere. This song will be covered by many more famous others. But their versions won't be more touching than this unadorned performance. "Oh my heart,don't fail me now that I have carried you from town to town...why are you so heavy for I can't hold you any more...I can't hold you and I can't put you down..." So much better than most corporate, massively marketed, "music."

And below the link to another superb song, Old Fashioned Hat, written & sung by Anais...

Click here: YouTube - Anais Mitchell - Old Fashioned Hat

Beautiful lyrics, angelic, heartwrenching voice. One of the most moving & romantic songs of recent times. "winter's waiting in the wings and we aren't saying anything....that's all right" "I have loved you for so long...even when I could only do you wrong" "youuuuuuuu...look like a stranger in that old fashioned hat" "that was before I made my home in the marrow of your bones" ".....and then we'll have a honeymoon, and then we'll start to fight"