You'd think that Bernard Madoff, who built the good life for himself with the biggest Ponzi scheme in history, might be a complex, nuanced, fascinating man. In an evil sort of way. You'd be wrong.
Two points were made in the October debate that deserve scrutiny. One was voiced by several candidates, from Senator Rand Paul to Governor Chris Christie: Namely, that the government has been "stealing" from Social Security. The other is that Social Security is a giant Ponzi scheme Let's discuss why this is a terrible misrepresentation of this program and how Social Security actually works.
When a person or firm makes too much money for too long, it turns heads. And so it was with Steven A. Cohen. Year after year, Cohen's firm, SAC Capital, beat the Street. Big bets, the theory went.
I have seen the movie The Wolf of Wall Street and enjoyed it quite a lot, though that loud brash generation is more muted these days. But it made me wonder, have we seen the last of the scam artist investor?
Look, I don't know much about high finance but let's review some facts about what JPMorgan did -- and didn't do -- after it had reason to believe Madoff was a con-man of mammoth proportions.
O'Brien is unquestionably one of our finest directors. Little enlightenment can be expected from Amanda Peet's The Commons of Pensacola.
I'll stick to a simple rule of thumb. If someone won't put a questionable instruction in writing and there are no clear policies or guidelines to support that instruction, then I'll let my moral compass guide me.
Approaching the age of 80, with more than 40 feature films under his belt, Woody Allen continues to astonish, finding new ways to surprise audiences with each year's film.
Profit will out, whether in Wall Street boardrooms or in the ashes of a south Asian sweatshop. All of which makes for ever wealthier plutocrats, consumers kept content with cheap goods, and if we do nothing about it, lousy citizens.
If you lose 50 percent of your nest egg and then earn back 20 percent annually, you'll still be down almost 15 percent because it takes twice as long to crawl back to even when you lose that much money.
As a society we are the more than willing victims who love the adrenalin rush that comes with watching the Dow rise, or our home assessments go up, or our portfolios expand but then turn around and blame our predators when we get caught.
Sure, he didn't steal their money, but the stories of accusers suggest Armstrong created obstacles that made them spend it to defend themselves or prevent future earnings by thwarting their success.
Incredibly, even while we're still clawing our way out of the hole that Wall Street's greed put us in, there are some in Congress who are trying to rig the system in the financial industry's favor.
Just recently, Washington announced the creation of a "dream team" of financial regulators, called the Systemic Risk Council. Great idea, but here's a question: Why was the current chairwoman of the SEC, Mary Schapiro, not included?
Transparency? Accountability? Responsibility? That's for little people. Consequences? Forget it: If you're rich, there are none. We live in Leona Helmsley's world now, and it's not a good place to be.
To the canon of films about the financial collapse of 2008, add Marc Simon's Unraveled, a portrait of one man's hubris, insecurity and appetite for glory, writ large.