The New York Times Imperialist Propaganda Machine this morning has a story of Bernie Madoff’s prison sentence: June 29 is the two year anniversary of his original sentence of 150 years. Was this just a slow news day for the NYT?
Anyway, money has completely taken away Madoff’s freedom.
Of course, I don’t believe in money anymore so I look at the situation as increasingly bizarre. Here we have a man who inspired a lot of confidence in investors (in other words a con man) and eventually betrayed their trust. The fictional trust that money is predicated on is weak and not stable, so when it broke between Madoff and his personal economy his fall from grace was hardly graceful.
And so his investors demanded justice. Madoff’s wrongdoings warrant some sort of retribution – think of all the people’s pensions he caused to drizzle up. And so an impartial judge declared that his crimes demand an unreasonable sentence of 150 years.
If Madoff is only the first of hopefully many white-collar criminals (polluters: you’re next), then the sentence sets quite the precedent.
Although I find myself wondering if it’s really a fair and just sentence. I can only conclude that this is just another example of a profoundly dysfunctioning system.