Monday, March 16, 2009

Gone

I just learned that an elderly couple I've known a long time lost almost everything to Madoff. They both worked hard for many years, right up to retirement in their mid-sixties. They weren't rich, certainly not by the standards of Wall Street or Manhattan society. They said they had checked out Madoff with the SEC, which gave him a clean bill of health.

In this system, they didn't stand a chance.

6 Comments:

Blogger Russ said...

There is so much in so many levels that needs to change so that the 96% of the American people that is represented only by their votes gets a fair shake in Washingon. It won't happen all at once but it must happen in the next four years or I fear for our country if it does not. And I believe if we keep communicating out here on the WWW it will. When they? try to take that away then watch out.

3/16/2009 6:54 PM  
Blogger Matthew said...

So many people I know see this and other financial finagling as just affected someone's bank number on a page, likely seeing a loss of money as merely a reflection of social status.

They don't seem to understand what that number means to real, non-millionaire people: forced out of retirement at an elderly age. Skipped meals, malnourished children. Diseases that go untreated for lack of money. Divorces, suicides, driven by loss of hope and trust and increased stress.

Only someone who has stopped seeing money in terms of what it was supposed to buy, and started seeing it as just a way to keep score, could do the things Wall Street has done. I'm sure none of the financiers would scam people out of a $3 loaf of bread, but they'd willingly scam you out of a $10 bill you were going to buy bread with.

3/17/2009 12:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Where is Chris Cox these days?

3/17/2009 12:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear CR,

So what can a little person do? What if your online brokerage has managed, by misleading information and questionable trade executions to evaporate 50% from an IRA account in its first year? The SEC says contact a lawyer or FINRA. No lawyer will touch such a small account. FINRA wants too much money for filing a complaint. A teenager, with uncommon maturity and foresight, should have bought a car instead of losing most of his part-time job earnings in this mess. Are there any options?

3/17/2009 6:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"In this system, they didn't stand a chance."

And that's the joke on us, isn't it.

With the demise of the Traditional Pension and commonsense retirement saving, a flood of money came into Wall Street. I'm sure WS was drooling over the baby-boom generation and all the moola for some time. They got their wish. This new environment required a regulated market or corruption would ensue. Politicians were bought by Wall Street and we got less regulation and more corruption. Thank you Reagan. Thank you Republicans. Thank you politicians.

This mess is going to get worse for a lot of folks. Older folks working longer, but younger folks need jobs too. Companies fire the older folks who lose not only their cash flow income but benefits like healthcare. Younger folk are hired to "save money", and now the CEO can justify their multi-millions in lifetime benefits. But now the older folks retirement has been decimated by WS shenanigans. Why the religious right, so important to the Republican party, doesn't think this is a family value issue, is absolutely mindboggling.

I think the only option is a grassroots effort and changing our politics. We need a Cindy Sheehan or Erin Brockovich. There has been almost zero representation in Washington for anyone (or ~97%) with less than $1 million on all issues for too long now.

(1) Infoplease US population

(2) According to the CIA Factbook, "Since 1975, practically all the gains in household income have gone to the top 20% of households."

3/27/2009 6:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Options:
Was watching Bill Moyers Journal with guest, William Greider, and they brought up a Grassroots organization called, "A New Way Forward". They are planning to protest for Bank Reform on 4/11. Sign the petition.

3/27/2009 10:56 PM  

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