Monday, December 15, 2008

"The biggest financial scandal, probably in the history of the markets"

Another day, another tale of turbo-capitalist greed.

In any truly moral society hedge funds would be illegal, but the scandal surrounding the fund of Bernard Madoff (pictured above) means that enacting such legislation might not be necessary: as the BBC's Robert Peston says, the Madoff scandal is likely to accelerate the disappearance of hedge funds.

The Madoff scandal has been described by investor Nicola Horlick as "the biggest financial scandal, probably in the history of the markets". But I find it hard to find much- if any- sympathy for those who have lost their money in the scam. This is a tale of very rich people and very rich institutions, who weren't satisfied with the enormous wealth they already had, but who wanted more and more. In fact, that's been the story of the whole thirty years of neoliberalism. The globalist elite- through their political emissaries- destroyed the mixed-economy system which served the interests of the majority and instead replaced it with an economic model in which only a small minority of bankers, capitalists and speculators would benefit.

That system is now disintegrating before our very eyes- brought down by the very greed which was behind its adoption in the first place.

UPDATE: There's a great comment by Daniel Palliant in response to Philip Delves- Broughton's excellent First Post article 'The Bonfire of the Vanities 2008'

I have to tell the World that the whole of Wall St is a giant fraud. Just in case you didn't know. Most of us who have had anything to do with so called free markets know, in our heart of hearts, that it couldn't last. Anyone surprised?

"There’s only one correct response to the Madoff affair - to laugh like a drain"- is the verdict of Chris Dillow, over at Stumbling and Mumbling. I couldn't agree more.


Anonymous said...

'Madoff' pronounced 'made off' as in 'made off with it...'. I can't be the firs to note this.

Anonymous said...

I hear Mandelson's been spotted on a yacht again - with Russian businessmen Ivan Ripov and Olag Organsedcrimesky.

Anonymous said...

The only problem is that as it disintegrates large chunks of the 'real world' are crushed underneath the falling debris...and our political leadership (I use the term loosely) continue to see this not as a systemic failure but as something to patch up and mend!

As to this scandel, it proves no one is immune to the siren lure of a fantasy return on their money.