endless greed

17 12 2008

If you’ve watched the news in the past couple of days, you’ve probably heard about what may be the biggest scam in history.  A financier named Bernard Madoff has been accused of orchestrating a $50 billion investor fraud scheme.  Many large banks and wealthy clients are affected by this, along with several charitable groups (some of which are having to close down because of the losses).

One of the big side-stories to this is why the SEC didn’t catch him before now.  As far back as 1999, financial analysts told the SEC they should investigate Madoff because his alleged returns were impossible to make legally.  And if that wasn’t a good enough reason, the SEC should’ve investigated him because his firm would sell its holdings for cash at the end of each period, thus they wouldn’t have to file disclosures of their holdings to the SEC.  That’s not normal.

The way Madoff made the fraud work was by utilizing a “Ponzi scheme“, where payouts are covered by the funds paid in by new investors.  He started getting in trouble this year, when investors asked him to pay out $7 billion but he didn’t have it.  Wednesday he admitted to his senior employees that “it’s all just one big lie”.  After his arrest the next day, he acknowledged, “There is no innocent explanation.”

What kind of greed creates the desire for a scam that big?  He had made millions of dollars already, so why did he keep doing this?  Was he blinded by greed?  Ironically, Bernard Madoff has given $6 million to lymphoma research, and he ran a private foundation that donated millions of dollars to hospitals and theaters.  So at least some of the money was given away.  But of course that still doesn’t excuse what he did.

This just shows that sin always leaves you hungry for more.  As the saying goes, “Sin will take you further than you want to go, keep you longer than you want to stay, and cost you more than you want to pay.”  I figure Madoff realizes that now.  But the concept applies to all types of sin — if you don’t get rid of it, it will grow and become more hideous than you ever expected.  A “pet sin” will turn into a monster, causing much destruction in your life.

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One response

30 01 2009
Cinaed

sometimes i feel overwhelmed by the blatant gree and corruption facing many of us today. i wonder why the innocent and good are punished while the evil and destitute prosper. Even now, with are “agent of change” president there is still wide spread cheating and deception. What is one to think, say, or do in times such as these?

Why do I get the shaft while people like Madoff and (corrupt) wall street bankers get to stay in their luxury apartments? why do I constantly see “going out of business” sales on tv and radio for small business owners who paid their taxes and made an honest living while many other evil scum get a bailout??!!!!!

The answer is simple and I realized that this feeling I had was felt by many others long ago. In the bible, in the book of pslams specifically, there are prayers to God from good people wondering the same things I am. These people through prayer realized that God has never forsaken the good and upright. He will not forget the iniquity done by those whose sole purpose in life is to exhalt self. We should take comfort in a living God who will punish the wicked and raise the righteous. In the end, just as Jesus has said many times, we will “know them by the fruit they bear” and deeds will be judged by the Alpha and Omega.

For those who read this message, you are never alone. Read scripture and gain strength from those whose testimonies are similar to yours. For me, every single dilemma I have ever faced in life was solved through prayer and reading the scriptures. I literally found stories similar to mine and it guided me through many dark days.

Be blessed all and I hope 2009 is a better year for you!!!

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