The Madoff Scandal

So, Bernard Madoff pled guilty and will go to jail. Not only do we taxpayers have to pay for his crime, but now we have to pay for his food and rent for the rest of his life. But that’s not the real problem. The problem is that Madoff is a scapegoat who is being publicly scourged and carted off with all the guilt on his head. With Madoff’s conviction, the public is satisfied that justice has been done. Right? I hope not.

How can one guy pull off a $65,000,000,000 ponzi scam BY HIMSELF!? The short answer is that he can’t. There have to be a whole bunch of people who have colluded with him and benefited from their collusion. The only way to make this kind of pyramid scheme work is to have a lot of people on the take. Arent’ they all guilty?

Madoff’s conviction iisn’t justice! Justice says that “crime doesn’t pay.” This says that crime does pay, but only if it’s big enough. The problem here isn’t that Madoff is a really bad guy, though he undoubtedly is. The problem is that the badness of those who have colluded with Madoff finally got so big that it crashed the party.

What about the accountants who colluded with this fraud? What about the computer programmers who coded the scam? Surely there had to be some fine juggling of the accounts to keep that much money in play. What about the feeders who were paid to send the “right clients” Bernie’s way? What about the mountain of support services that are required to prop up a scam like this?

What is Madoff’s crime, really? He lied. He didn’t steal — people gave him their money. He’s not a theif. He’s a liar. Justice needs to broadcast a message that colluding with liars is also lying. Which is worse? The liar or the colluder? The colluders weren’t dupes. They made money, they didn’t lose money. Dupes lose money, colluders make money. So, everyone who made any money from the Bernie’s pile colluded — some willingly and some ignorantly. Ignorance can be forgiven — maybe not corrected, but at least forgiven.

But willing collusion is another thing altogether!

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