Thursday, January 8, 2009

Odds and Ends: The End of the Financial World as We Know It Op-Ed; NY Carpenters, Harry Markopolos, Bernie Madoff Ringtone, Related Links

So much information about the financial crisis, growing number of scandals and frauds,and financial lives ruined has been cirulating in the news media that it has been difficult for me to keep up, let alone sort through it all. I've revisited articles I've read and looked at some of my previous posts to see if I could make more sense of it all.

As I type this post, the talking heads on CNBC are discussing about potential clawbacks related to the Bernie Madoff situation, and how it has touched the New York Carpenters Union retirement fund.

Charlie Gasparino:
"We deal in the snake pit of snake pits, Wall Street...There are a lot of layers to this story."

Unions were under Federal law to diversify, and some put money in alternative funds. The New York State Carpenter's Union followed this edict, and apparently invested some of the member's money in a fund of funds that in turn invested with Bernie Madoff.

Unions, politions, public pension funds, and Wall Street....

I think I'll have to be more patient. I'm waiting for the movie to come out!

For now, here are some links to visit/revisit:


Central NY Business News: Charley Hannagan1/3/09
More Central New York labor unions say they were burned by Bernared MAdoff investments Fact vs.fiction
"The United Union of Roofers Waterproofers & Allied Workers Local 195 in Cicero, Plumbers & Steamfitters Local 73 in Oswego and the Empire State Carpenters Fringe Benefit Funds recently sent letters telling members they lost money in investments in Madoff."

The End of the Financial World as We Know It
(Michael Lewis and David Einhorn's OpEd in the New York Times (1/3/09))
"...on the subject of money even our harshest critics have been inclined to believe that we knew what we were doing. They watched our investment bankers and emulated them: for a long time now half the planet’s college graduates seemed to want nothing more out of life than a job on Wall Street.This is one reason the collapse of our financial system has inspired not merely a national but a global crisis of confidence. "Good God, the world seems to be saying, if they don’t know what they are doing with money, who does?"

"What’s interesting about the Madoff scandal, in retrospect, is how little interest anyone inside the financial system had in exposing it."

Prosecutors: Madoff mailed pricey jewelry, should go to jail (Pallavi Gogoi, USA TODAY,1/8/09)

Madoff Misled SEC in '06, Got Off
- (Gregory Zuckerman and Kara Scannell, 12/18/08)

Introducing the Bernie Madoff Ringtone! (Cityfile NY)
"The ringtone features a few phrases from a talk Madoff gave in 2007, set, appropriately enough, to the theme music from the horror movie Halloween."

Listen to the Bernie Madoff Ringtone (you can also download it from this link.)

Note: I don't mean to make a joke about the devastation Madoff caused, but since the theme of this blog is sounds and sights, a mention of this ringtone makes sense.

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