Saturday, December 13, 2008

Madoff: The Last Straw For Wall Street?

It seems the days of equating "Wall Street job" with prestige and money are as extinct as the dodo bird. Tell someone you work on Wall Street and if they don't sneer or throw vegetables at you, they're at least going to shake their heads. Thank Bernie Madoff. His 50 billion dollar shell game may be the weight that sinks Wall Street's floundering reputation. Even hardened Wall Streeters are professing shock at the size, scope and audacity of Madoff's scheme. He's taking people down with him, and the Dow is expected to be dragged down as well. It's massive.

There's an angle here no one is talking about for fear of being offensive, but I'm wondering.
Did Madoff have a Jewish connection? Did he take advantage of a cultural sense of loyalty to line his own pockets?

One NY Times article quotes Palm Beach investors with names that seem to indicate Jewish backgrounds. A charity in the Boston area dedicated to preserving Jewish cultural identity has lost everything with the collapse of Madoff's fund. Did Madoff, whose fund was built on exclusivity and reputation, take advantage of connections that leaned heavily toward Jews to build his massive scheme?

And if he did, is this the latest kick in the teeth for people who are just a generation removed from the Holocaust?

What the fall of Bernard Madoff proves is that just because someone knows what they're doing, because they appear successful and even show steady growth, it doesn't mean that you can trust them.

The Jews have a word for people like Bernard Madoff: shyster.

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