Friday, February 20, 2009

Black Friday

Friday is such a schizophrenic day nowadays. It is TGIF but is also bank failure announcement day and bankruptcy notification day and let's watch the stock market take another dump day. The stock market is testing new lows today not seen in about 12 years. But really, why does that matter to most people? Citibank is plummeting, Bank of America is falling, Saab files for bankruptcy.

This man lost his retirement--$700,000. He is 90 years old and is back to work making $10 an hour. Why is Madoff not hanging from the nearest Wall Street sign with the crows picking at his carcass? I guess that is why it matters.

But....when you watch this piece, he is not bitter, he is not cynical. He just went back to work and does not dwell on it. I so admire that attitude, but I want to know what went wrong. How did we get here? How do you work hard all your life, save your money, and then find out you have lost it all in a matter of minutes? There are important lessons to be be learned but I am not sure what they will be. If the people who should be looking out for this, the Masters of the Universe in Washington and the Masters of the SEC cannot spot this, what are we to do?

Do you remember the saying, "You can't cheat an honest man." It took me a long time to understand that. What do you mean you can't cheat an honest man, of course, you can. Why would an honest person be exempt from being taken advantage of? I decided what it meant was that an honest man looks into any obligation he gets into for himself because he honestly wants to know that it is legal and aboveboard. He does his due diligence. But nowadays, how on earth do you do your due diligence?

This gentleman is an inspiration and a warning. I know I'm ready for Happy Hour. Maybe a good game of Beer Pong? Never played it but this old dog can learn new tricks.


Jeanne said...

That makes me insanely angry. No way should this 90 year old gentleman be forced to work. 700,000 just gone.

Madoff needs the stiffest penalty available but it still won't make it right. That makes me even more mad. Man. It just sucks.


Happy Hour...Somewhere said...

perfect way to put it--insanely angry. Every article I read lately is like picking up a rock and seeing the cockroaches scatter away from the light. If you ever click over to Calculated Risk from my blog and read the articles and especially the comments, it will make your blood boil. There are people on there who have been following this mess for years and their comments scare the tar out of me.