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I have a really bad feeling when all is said and done, that there are only going to be one or two token scapegoats held responsible.
And what, do tell, does this have anything to do with the topic? Seriously.. and there is no such thing as a Grand Master..
Evidence suggests that Bernard Madoff, the “prominent” Wall Street operator and former chairman of the NASDAQ stock market, had ties to the Russian Mafia, Moscow-based oligarchs, and the Genovese organized crime family.
And, as reported by Deep Capture and Reuters, Madoff did not just orchestrate a $50 billion Ponzi scheme. He was also the principal architect of SEC rules that made it easier for “naked” short sellers to manufacture phantom stock and destroy public companies – a factor in the near total collapse of the American financial system.
I don’t know why, but this seems like a good time to tell you a little about my personal history. Along the way, I’ll mention a murder, two suicides (or “suicides”), a punch in the face, a generous bribe, three Armani suits in bar, and a “prominent” billionaire who might know something about a death threat and a Russian matryoshka doll.
But actually, this story isn’t about me. It’s about Patrick Byrne, the fellow who got me into this mess.
The story, like so many others, begins on August 12, 2005 – the day that Patrick Byrne, the CEO of Overstock.com and future reporter for Deep Capture (a leading investigative news outfit), delivered a famous conference call presentation entitled, “The Miscreants Ball.”
To the 500 Wall Street honchos who listened in to this conference call, Patrick said that a network of miscreants was using a variety of tactics – including naked short selling (phantom stock) – to destroy public companies for profit. He said this scheme had the potential to crash the financial markets, but that the SEC did nothing because the SEC had been compromised – or “captured” – by unsavory operators on Wall Street.
Patrick added that he believed the scheme’s mastermind — “just call him the Sith Lord” — was a “famous criminal from the 1980s.”
In January 2006, I was working as an editor for the Columbia Journalism Review, a well-respected ( if somewhat dowdy) magazine devoted to media criticism. Patrick had claimed that some prominent journalists were “corrupt” and were working with prominent hedge funds to cover up the naked short selling scandal, so I called to discuss.
Patrick picked up the phone and said: “Chasing this story will take you down a rabbit hole with no end.” He said that the story had it all – diabolical billionaires, phantom stock, dishonest journalists, crooked lawyers, black box organizations on Wall Street, and a crime that could very well cause a meltdown of our financial system.
LONDON (AFP) – Prime Minister Gordon Brown said Monday the financial crisis must not be an excuse to retreat into protectionism and instead be viewed as the "difficult birth-pangs of a new global order".
"Or we could view the threats and challenges we face today as the difficult birth-pangs of a new global order -- and our task now as nothing less than making the transition through a new internationalism to the benefits of an expanding global society."