From Daphne Merkin "If Looks Could Kill," NYTimes:
On Bernie Madoff:
This is both the problem and the mystery of the man — and speaks to what so enrages people. If you’re going to be a con man, that is, you should at least look the part. No matter how much we’re told appearances are deceiving, we think we know better. Or rather, we think we’re exempt from the deception that ensnares others. In a way, Mr. Madoff and those he defrauded were co-dependent, the one offering a cover of benign paternalism and the other buying into the act. It’s interesting to me that institutional investors were the least likely to overlook the irregularities in his records; they weren’t looking to be part of a family, they were merely looking to make money.
(Merkin continued) On MONEY:
At the heart of the matter, of course, are the complex feelings we all bring to the subject of money itself. We covet it but we are ashamed of overtly lusting after it. We know money is frequently a matter of luck or conniving rather than a just reward, yet we regard very rich people with no small amount of awe. How ever did they do it? Although a gift for making money may not indicate any larger sphere of talent, we willy-nilly ascribe great intelligence to financiers.
On Timothy Geitner:
(Me) Maybe Obama should not have kept Bush's Geitner so that there would be "cohesion" from the September bailout. Geitner's motives and philosophy are definitely pro-high executive pay (when bankers are making millions where does that money come from if NOT from their clever investments? In case the answer isn't obvious: the people who hold deposits in the bank.)
Here's Maureen Dowd (NYTimes "Toxic R Us") on Geitner:
Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner, who grew up as a Republican and was head of the New York Fed for five years, sees things from the point of view of that wellspring of masters of the universe, Goldman Sachs. (His Treasury chief of staff was a Goldman lobbyist, who fought then-Senator Obama’s attempt to curb executive compensation — just as Geithner has done within the administration.)
At the New York Fed, Geithner helped preside over the A.I.G. bailout in September. But in October, it was Andrew Cuomo, the New York attorney general, who had to threaten to sue unless A.I.G. canceled $160 million in planned expenses for conferences and a $600 million bonus pool.
And from me: the GOP outrage of all this financial debacle is pure HYPOCRISY from the political shysters who have created these mob CEO monsters and the financial fiasco we find ourselves. They are the ones who got elected based on: smaller government (which to ignorant mass of followers means no more welfare for minorities, but to political "mavericks" means no regulations! weak OSHA, weak IRS, more loopholes and to corporate CEOs, it means: Let's party!) If you've been around a while think: savings and loan debacle, the Enron scandal, the California utility fiasco, the no-bid contracts to Cheney's oil company, the privatization of the military, and a trillion dollars toward a Neocon War that didn't need to happen.
I'd like to stuff some socks into the mouths of these red-faced blow-hards who pompously boast that they'd like to see Obama fail to prove his inadequacy. Some people ought to hung in the town square. At least, they should be fire-hosed into oblivion, left to soak in some humility.