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Socialism in One Sector--the Housing Sector

A Socratic Dialogue About Bernie Madoff

Thrasymakhos: "Your boss is quite a card player, Mr. Hooker." "Well, Mr. Lonigan, he cheats."

Glaukon: Which of the many possibilities prompted this? Madoff? On Madoff, I like this juxtaposition -- "The SEC Looked Into Madoff Front Running Claims Last Year" ["there's no front running here - just a $50B Ponzi scheme - close the file"] http://clusterstock.alleyinsider.com/2008/12/the-sec-looked-into-madoff-front-running-claims-last-year with "How We Knew Bernie Madoff Was A Fraud" (answer - we asked people things) http://clusterstock.alleyinsider.com/2008/12/how-we-knew-bernie-madoff-was-a-fraud.

Thrasymakhos: Madoff. The SEC is truly extraordinary. The Madoff fraud goes much deeper than David Mamet. It is a confluence of the two oldest and most elemental frauds. The second oldest con is “you are in the con” a la Doyle Lonnegan in “The Sting”. However, the dark eloquence of “the Sting” is eclipsed by the savage profundity of the deepest analysis of con in human history. I speak, of course, of the acts of Sylvester McMonkey McBean chronicled in the Dr. Suess classic “the Sneetches”.

Glaukon: I was forced to refresh my recollection of the classics via Wikipedia, but yes -- Madoff's reluctance to let people give him their money, and the way he got them to beg him to take it -- were they socially worthy enough to become a Madoff investor? -- pure brilliance. I do love the contrast between the SEC and the advisory firm that refused to recommend him after a cursory investigation (such as noting that he had no infrastructure).