Monday, December 15, 2008
He Madoff with the money
This blog is a day or two late because of the journey back to Ghana from the UK. Apart from the unhappy business of discovering that the pound is an albatross currency that only really works in the UK, I wonâ€™t gripe over this septic isle â€“ this time! But what are my money concerns when compared with the horror story of one Bernard Madoff who ran the US banking sectorâ€™s equivalent of a pyramid selling scheme? This conniver gave profits to existing clients entirely from the investments of newcomers. Some 30 to 50 BILLION dollars disappeared in this way, including millions from British Banks. His scam had been inspected by US authorities very recently and found to be top hole. Now I know I am a sucker for the argument that Corporates are greedy and screw the public at large. Also, I am incensed that, as a customer of a bank, if things go a little pear-oriented, then you are treated like a malaria bearing mosquito, batted from pillar to post, losing whatever they can send in the baillifs for â€“ including your house. But when THEY cock it up, we all suffer badly and nothing much happens to those responsible. No doubt Bernie the Brag will get his just deserts but US Inspection teams wonâ€™t, nor will the fund managers of the British Banks who swallowed his guff, hook line and sinker and threw our cash at him.
And so the domino falling goes on and on and houses lose their value and people lose both homes and their jobs and STILL the CBI and the banks pontificate about how the Government should run the economy, treating the public sector like it is a dim-witted cousin, who, in Spartan times, would have died at birth on a freezing night on a roof top.
So now there is another black hole in the money world, dragging constellations of financial houses beyond its event horizon, where, the laws of physics posit, they become incredibly debt-heavy with incredibly shrinking pay-outs. Meanwhile, note the elision, another black hole makes the news. This one is at the centre of our galaxy (indeed, another theory suggests that all galaxies are generated by black holes) and it is enormous, millions of times bigger than our sun. Will we end up being sucked into it on December 21st 2012, as discussed in an earlier blog or will we still remain on this peripheral end of a spiral arm, gloomily self-obsessed with â€˜this seat of Marsâ€™, indignantly voicing off about the holes in our pockets?