Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Lying sociopaths are in control of America, America's finance, and especially the Republican Party.

The last decade has seen a series of financial scandals that have been getting bigger and bigger. Enron, WorldCom, Adelphia, Tyco, followed by the massive Bernie Madoff Ponzi scheme. Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist James B. Stewart writes that they all share a common thread: They were all base on lies. This short list is only the tip of the iceberg.
instances of perjury and false statements are on the rise at the highest levels of business, politics, sports, and culture.
Is it any surprise that the Republican Party in America today has an ideology based on nothing but lies? It's not just politics. It's also the financial industry and the mass media, both of which have been concentrating rapidly for the last 30 years. This puts then under the control of a very small group of people who for the most part are complete sociopaths.

The various government agencies established over the previous century to catch financial scams based on lies appear to have been incompetent, but they may also have been totally overwhelmed. The lies are epidemic and those who should have been working to prevent the lies (like auditors) have been bought off or sidelined.

James B. Stewart has written a book Tangled Webs which describes one example of these scams surrounding us today. CNN Money has published an excerpt. How they failed to catch Madoff. Catching madoff shouldn't have been hard:
Madoff repeatedly changed his story, he contradicted himself at every turn, and written records flatly disproved many of his assertions, had anyone bothered to check. Worst of all, the SEC knew he was lying and was one phone call away from catching him.
This is the conclusion that the article comes to:
for all the missteps by the SEC, it came amazingly close to catching Madoff. Thomas Thanasules deserves a promotion and recognition for spotting the Madoff issues in the Renaissance e-mails and bringing them to the attention of his superiors. Michael Garrity and others in the SEC's Boston office [who were eager to pursue Markopolos's claims] also showed genuine enthusiasm and an investigative bent. Would that their instincts had extended further into the agency.

Judged by the duration and magnitude of his fraud, Madoff would seem the most cunning and skilled of liars. That's what David Kotz assumed when he began his investigation. "I assumed Madoff was a genius, a master, that nobody would have had a prayer of figuring him out," Kotz said. But in fact, Madoff was no better than average, if that. Written records flatly contradicted his lies, had anyone bothered to check them. He repeatedly changed his story on numerous points: whether he did or didn't trade options; whether he did or didn't manage money for individuals; who did or didn't handle his trading; how many clients he had; and how much money he managed. Madoff had the temerity to lie about what he said to Lamore to Lamore's face. "He wasn't a good liar," Kotz concluded. "He couldn't keep his story straight. He was no evil genius."

As of late 2010, two years after the Madoff scandal broke, the SEC had taken no disciplinary or other measure against anyone involved in the various Madoff investigations. The SEC officials' collective failure is, as Madoff himself put it, astonishing. It will surely rank as one of the greatest regulatory failures ever, not just because of the size of the fraud, but because it was staring them in the face.
Personally I think that America and particularly the Republican Party has been taken over by amoral self-centered wealthy sociopaths, and everyone else is afraid to challenge their lies.Go read the excerpt from the book.It's How they failed to catch Madoff.

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