Friday, March 27, 2009

Ponzi Palooza!

If we've learned nothing else this year, surely we must be looking at the fabulously knowledgeable with less star struck eyes. When hushed tones prevail for the rich and famous its probably time for someone to burst our laughing just for balance.

Bernard Madoff...philanthropist, investor, head of the NASDAQ, largest market maker on Wall Street, scion of the community, thief, cheat, incorrigible crook.

Myron Scholes....Nobel Prize winner, inventor of pricing models for derivatives, expert on risk analysis, founder of Long Term Capital, Managing Director of Soloman Brothers, Stanford Professor emeritus, loser of $4 Billion at Long Term Capital, founder of Platinum Grove Asset Management, with new opportunity to lose 29% of $4 Billion in first two weeks of October 2008.

Sir Allen Stanford...manager of $40 Billion, first american to be knighted in british commonwealth nation of antigua, cricketeer extrodinaire, political who's who, liar, cheat, thief, weaver of $8 Billion dollar ponzi scheme.

I admit to wondering now about the next class of puffins. Those who were right about the market meltdown and have become this years rock stars. Noriel Roubini and Taleb Nasem come first to mind. Both brilliant academicians who got it right and now must endure fame and the likely fortune coming their way. I keep thinking maybe the Andy Warhol comment about everyone having their fifteen minutes of fame should serve a warning against enduring too much more than that.

Opinions are a dime a dozen. Reputations might be worth about a quarter these days.

John Barnyak