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Thread: Have we become morally bankrupt?

  1. #41
    [QUOTE=jetswin;2915003]Again you are concentrating on the posts that have followed the initial post, I clearly stated later that I don't care about the politics involved with this madoff scam. My point is that there is a lack of ethics by all involved, and it is somewhat unbelievable that those scammed would have no suspicions regarding the performance of this particular fund.

    Just give me my return and a wink at the club.[/QUOTE]

    Apparently people were suspicious:

    [url]http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/12/15/AR2008121502971.html?hpid=topnews[/url]

    Now we need to know why these suspicions weren't followed up -- seems to me either regulatory impotence or out-and-out corruption at the SEC.

  2. #42
    [QUOTE=jetswin;2915003]Again you are concentrating on the posts that have followed the initial post, I clearly stated later that I don't care about the politics involved with this madoff scam. My point is that there is a lack of ethics by all involved, and it is somewhat unbelievable that those scammed would have no suspicions regarding the performance of this particular fund.

    Just give me my return and a wink at the club.[/QUOTE]

    I don't care about the politics involved either, I was pointing out how this greed has happened throughout history no matter what laws are put in place. We just see more greed and moral depravity now because news gets around instantaneously.

  3. #43
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    [QUOTE=jetswin;2915003]Again you are concentrating on the posts that have followed the initial post, I clearly stated later that I don't care about the politics involved with this madoff scam. My point is that there is a lack of ethics by all involved, [B]and it is somewhat unbelievable that those scammed would have no suspicions regarding the performance of this particular fund.[/B]

    Just give me my return and a wink at the club.[/QUOTE]

    Anyone who sees an identical percentage return month to month for years should see huge red flags. Problem is, everyone is seduced by greed and ignores.

    On nightly business report last night, they had a guy to talk about this mess and basically, the SEC will likely force Madoff's firm into Bankruptcy, and ANY previous investor who go out with profits will have their PROFIT SEIZED and redistributed to the investors that lost it all. Which I couldn't agree with more!

  4. #44
    [QUOTE=XingDaorong;2914967]The whole concept of "regulations=good; or regulations=bad" becomes trivial when you start to realize that in some places we needed more regulation or needed the regulations we had to stay in place whereas in others regulations and protectionist barriers did stifle growth and hinder the ability of our companies to compete internationally. The whole debate, as is the case with every other issue, has been hijacked into being a black and white issue with Republicans screaming about "anti-growth" regulations and with Democrats whining about creating a more fair economy with "more regulations". If you listen to them long enough it becomes clear that they don't even listen to themselves when they talk or know anything about economics, because most politicians are lawyers rather than economists or businessmen before they become elected. That's not me hating on lawyers, it's just a deficiency in the system, our politicians know the laws of our country and how to twist them, but they don't know how the market works.

    As for Maddoff and what de-regulation had to do with his scheme's viability I'm not sure either, but I'm sure some hack writer at [I]The Nation[/I] or [I]The Weekly Standard[/I] is working on a paper that will blame the whole thing on one political party or another. I know the guy basically made up fake companies and financial statements for his clients to invest in, so I'm not sure how much that has to do with any policy rather than people trusting an experienced Wall Street investor with their money without so much as a second guess.[/QUOTE]

    Definitely the most thought provoking post in the thread (other than the starter) -- I don't know, I guess my bias when I see a problem is to pick up a tool and try to fix it. I'd rather live with annoyance of regulation than the unpredictability of these corruption scandals -- fully realizing that no regulation can do anything but make the scandals less frequent and severe.

  5. #45
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    [quote=fukushimajin;2915012]Apparently people were suspicious:

    [URL]http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/12/15/AR2008121502971.html?hpid=topnews[/URL]

    Now we need to know why these suspicions weren't followed up -- seems to me either regulatory impotence or out-and-out corruption at the SEC.[/quote]
    yes, there were [I]some[/I] people suspicious, none of the investors it seems :rolleyes:

  6. #46
    [QUOTE=jetswin;2915036]yes, there were [I]some[/I] people suspicious, none of the investors it seems :rolleyes:[/QUOTE]

    Again...menschkeit.

  7. #47
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    [QUOTE=XingDaorong;2914940]Who cares about whether this c*cksucker was a Democrat or a Republican or what is to blame for this "wave of immorality"? Reagan's ghost wasn't possessing Maddoff or Ken Lay to swindle people out of their retirement plans, life savings, and jobs; this type of greed has been around forever, we just notice it now because of technology and the speed information gets passed around. In the 1700s the East India Company exploited the riches of India while 3 million people starved to death, in the 1800s there were captains of industry who quite literally ran entire economic sectors, in the 1900s the United Fruit Company (now Chiquita foods) kept brutal dictators in power in Latin America to retain their monopolies over the fruit trade there (hence the term "Banana Republic").

    What Maddoff did shattered the confidence Americans had in "financial experts" and revealed him to be yet another crooked con artist; it didn't put a verdict on any political ideology because this corruption happens no matter what system is put in place. There are no safeguards against powerful figures who turn crooked, it's just life, but if anything can be learned from this it should be to trust no man in power to do the right thing. As the old saying goes "Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men."[/QUOTE]

    Which really doesn't say much for the whole system now, does it? But hey, what do I know, I'm just one of those socialist wackos that lives too close to Russia....

  8. #48
    [QUOTE=fukushimajin;2915024]Definitely the most thought provoking post in the thread (other than the starter) -- I don't know, I guess my bias when I see a problem is to pick up a tool and try to fix it. I'd rather live with annoyance of regulation than the unpredictability of these corruption scandals -- fully realizing that no regulation can do anything but make the scandals less frequent and severe.[/QUOTE]

    We all have our predisposed biases here no matter how moderate or objective we try to paint our comments; considering I know little about economics (I'm trying to learn more) it's hard for me to have a bias either way because if I try to make a statement about tax policies or market liberalization I know I will sound like I'm full of sh*t. I have the Republican mantra of "government hands off" in my head but if I was a politician I probably would not know how to implement any of these policies effectively and I think the same thing happens with our politicians. They are unsure of how their economic policies will work so they hire economic "experts" who agree with them to give their policy making this temporary aura of legitimacy.

    With regards to de-regulation leading to more corruption I agree with you somewhat but again I can't provide any evidence of it so what does it say? There was massive government waste during the New Deal and Great Society but it isn't called corruption because people don't expect results or efficiency from anything staffed with politicians. Corruption and greed just takes a different form when we alter the system, doesn't mean we shouldn't change the way the government works sometimes but we can't expect selfishness to disappear ever.

  9. #49
    [QUOTE=CanadaSteve;2915067]Which really doesn't say much for the whole system now, does it? But hey, what do I know, I'm just one of those socialist wackos that lives too close to Russia....[/QUOTE]

    Can you see it from your house?

  10. #50
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    [QUOTE=XingDaorong;2915086] but we can't expect selfishness to disappear ever.[/QUOTE]

    Funny, I remember posting a "critique of capitalism" about two years ago, for which I got RIPPED by many, some I respect, some I don't.

    In it, I talked about these types of flaws, that greed cannot, and is not regulated...in the sense that we try and protect the whole system from greed because it does exist and will always exist.

    Then I mentioned how tribalism has been, and still is, the most successful means for humanity to live...and of course, I was ripped.

    Yet here we are, talking about a Jew who broke 'the code' of the Jews. People thought, and many still do, think I meant we should all take our clothes off, put animal skins on, and go live in caves. That is NOT what tribalism is. Try this for a definition:

    [B]The other concept to which the word tribalism frequently refers is the possession of a strong cultural or ethnic identity that separates oneself as a member of one group from the members of another. This phenomenon is related to the concept of tribal society in that it is a precondition for members of a tribe to possess a strong feeling of identity for a true tribal society to form.[/B]

    THIS is what I was talking about all along. There is something very very "right" about the Jewish culture and how they live, and it is very true for many 'tribes' in the world today. However, we could harness this idea of tribalism and bring it into the current economic structure.

    HOWEVER, this then becomes an issue of die-hard capitalists shooting down the concept for it resembles 'communism,' and die-hard social activists shoot it down because they believe it is 'selling out.' Perhaps the one thing society needs is to throw away their extremist mentalities, and start thinking outside the box.

  11. #51
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    [QUOTE=XingDaorong;2915089]Can you see it from your house?[/QUOTE]

    If I look over Alaska, I can get a good peak at it...funny, I'm getting a craving for vodka and I don't know why.

  12. #52
    [QUOTE=CanadaSteve;2915111]Funny, I remember posting a "critique of capitalism" about two years ago, for which I got RIPPED by many, some I respect, some I don't.

    In it, I talked about these types of flaws, that greed cannot, and is not regulated...in the sense that we try and protect the whole system from greed because it does exist and will always exist.

    Then I mentioned how tribalism has been, and still is, the most successful means for humanity to live...and of course, I was ripped.

    Yet here we are, talking about a Jew who broke 'the code' of the Jews. People thought, and many still do, think I meant we should all take our clothes off, put animal skins on, and go live in caves. That is NOT what tribalism is. Try this for a definition:

    [B]The other concept to which the word tribalism frequently refers is the possession of a strong cultural or ethnic identity that separates oneself as a member of one group from the members of another. This phenomenon is related to the concept of tribal society in that it is a precondition for members of a tribe to possess a strong feeling of identity for a true tribal society to form.[/B]

    THIS is what I was talking about all along. There is something very very "right" about the Jewish culture and how they live, and it is very true for many 'tribes' in the world today. However, we could harness this idea of tribalism and bring it into the current economic structure.

    HOWEVER, this then becomes an issue of die-hard capitalists shooting down the concept for it resembles 'communism,' and die-hard social activists shoot it down because they believe it is 'selling out.' Perhaps the one thing society needs is to throw away their extremist mentalities, and start thinking outside the box.[/QUOTE]

    In the sense of unity I agree with you it would stifle some of the selfishness that pervades everyday life but Jews did not and would not have developed that sense of community without enduring centuries of oppression from every government or people that they were ruled by. Jews have no mission of conversion and view themselves as the chosen people, that greatly contributes to a sense of community as well, something other religious peoples and the non-religious could never hope to recreate. Most people distrust and dislike things or people they don't know and how many of us would be willing to give a homeless man lodging for a night with our children in the house? It's the mentality we have that private property, choice, and privacy are sacred things that are simply unquestionable, and with that comes the need to benefit one's self before anything else.

    There's nothing wrong with that so long as you aren't hurting anyone but as Maddoff's actions have shown, the mentality can lead to greed of excessive and dangerous proportions.
    Last edited by XingDaorong; 12-16-2008 at 02:14 PM.

  13. #53
    On a local radio station they asked how should he be punished? Beheading in Times Square was the most popular answer!

  14. #54
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    [QUOTE=pauliec;2914995]I went out on Saturday night and the bartender bought me a couple rounds because she never actually saw anyone order Campari before -- I had to point it out on the shelf behind her.[/QUOTE]

    I'm surprised a bar would even carry the stuff.

  15. #55
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    [quote=sourceworx;2915205]I'm surprised a bar would even carry the stuff.[/quote]
    he was at the Bing

  16. #56
    [QUOTE=sourceworx;2915205]I'm surprised a bar would even carry the stuff.[/QUOTE]

    Even though most people don't like it, its a standard.

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