Archive for January 8th, 2009

Madoff ‘victims’ do math, realize they profited

By DAVID B. CARUSO, Associated Press Writer

‘NEW YORK – The many Bernard Madoff investors who withdrew money from their accounts over the years are now wrestling with an ethical and legal quandary.

What they thought were profits was likely money stolen from other clients in what prosecutors are calling the largest Ponzi scheme in history. Now, they are confronting the possibility they may have to pay some of it back.

The issue came to the forefront this week as about 8,000 former Madoff clients began to receive letters inviting them to apply for up to $500,000 in aid from the Securities Investor Protection Corp.

Lawyers for investors have been warning clients to do some tough math before they apply for any funds set aside for the victims, and figure out whether they were a winner or loser in the scheme.’
P.S What is a Ponzi scheme? Is it not a get-rich-soon-and-pass-on-the- losses to the next? Same as any shot at the Wall Street where investors are looking for their own financial health and not of the nation. Ethical question according to me arises if the ‘fortunate scalpers’ from the Ponzi scheme want to apply for a free handout as proposed by SIP Corp. In such a case they want to eat the cake and keep it as well.


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Manuel Philip, who was a comrade at arms with Miguel Cervantes at the battle of Lapento, had high opinion of himself. As a child he
excelled in studies which made his tutor predict high things for the boy. The boy grew up into a man, conscious of his calling: He wanted to serve the Church.
Being taught of the Church he wanted to serve the Mother Church with his pen. His earlier pamphlets on the doctrines were well received by the clergy that goaded him to further efforts. Somewhere along the line he realized that he had a facile wit. As one wag put it, he could write comic verses with one hand and dry as dust treatises on dogmas with the other.
In one of the lively moods when ideas burst forth leading one on a merry chase, Don Philip drew up the draft for a humorous tale. Surprisingly it was the misadventures of a Knight errant, an uncanny copy of the Knight of Mournful countenance: ‘Don Quixote’.
Of course ‘Don Quixote’ is the work of another. Don Philip and Cervantes were by a queer coincidence struck by the same idea. Incredible still, the first draft was close in spirit and style of Cervantes! But for the names of characters and locale everything else was exactly the same.
Underneath the draft one cannot fail to note three words penned by the author which would remain one of the worst cases of wrong judgment in literary criticism. Don Philip had written thus: ‘Not serious enough’.
Setting aside the comic novel he spent the next sixteen years of his life to write diatribe against Jews and other minority groups which were in disfavor with the Church. Though the Church recommended his book as one of the hundred books indispensable for the faithful, he died a forgotten man.

Speak your own words, man. Even if you speak as angels would, neither man nor angel would take you seriously. Why, something of the speaker gives the lie to his speech. What grows in your native soil and watered by conviction shall have its own majesty.

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