I Can Haz Bailout?
First it was the banks. Then AIG. Then Shittybank. Then the automakers. Now it’s the former millionaires created by Bernard Madoff.
One week ago, Ronnie Ambrosino was a millionaire.
One week ago I owed less on my student loans than I do now.
Now, Ambrosino is among the long list of investors whose fortunes were allegedly wiped out by Bernard Madoff. Like them, she’s left hoping for a bailout that might never come.
I’m hoping Sallie Mae forgives my student loans. And gives me a pony.
She plans to sue Madoff but that could take years to work through the courts and yield little in the end. Her best hope to recoup some of her money is from the Securities Investor Protection Corp., an industry-funded organization set up by the government to protect investors from fraud.
But, here’s the problem: SIPC does not have enough money to pay out all the claims that are sure to come from one of the biggest fraud cases to ever hit Wall Street. Securities attorneys say the organization has a reputation of being tough to squeeze money from, and each investor is only entitled to a maximum payout of $500,000 if a claim is approved.
Half a million bucks? Sign me up.
SIPC officials say the books of Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC are in complete disarray and could take six months or more to piece them together. With bills piling up and her bank account vanishing, the one thing Ambrosino and others caught in the alleged $50 billion fraud don’t have is time.
“It feels like I’m drowning, and someone is saying ‘we’re going to save you, but we have to build the boat first,'” said Ambrosino, 55, who had $1.6 million invested with Madoff. “We can’t wait for SIPC to go through all the papers.”
Can you spell “entitlement”?
“There’s no doubt that hearings will be held on this, and some government aid is a very logical request,” said Robert Schachter, an attorney with New York-based Zwerling, Schachter & Zwerling, which is representing several Madoff victims. “If we’re bailing out Wall Street and the auto industry, maybe these individuals should be bailed out too.”
Um, no? Or maybe “fuck no.”
“It can take years,” said Leo Asaro, partner in the St. Louis office of law firm Bryan Cave LLP. “People need to think of other options, not waiting on these matters to wind their ways through the courts. It is not going to happen fast enough to get the relief that they need.”
They want their ponys NOW!
“It is way too early to speculate about the claims,” [SIPC President and Chief Executive Steve Harbeck] said. “We don’t know the number of customers, how much each is owed, and I don’t want to be prematurely alarmist.”
That’s not exactly what angry investors like Ambrosino want to hear. She used the money she thought was secure with Madoff to retire early, buy a luxury motor home, and travel around the country. The only assets she has now are the pieces of furniture inside the motor home she’s been making payments on for the past four years.
Now living in Surprise, Ariz., …
This shit writes itself.
… she felt helpless watching Madoff enter the court house Wednesday for a bail hearing. Ambrosino, who invested in Madoff’s firm some three decades ago, knows that others are in the same position.
“We need to get out there and get names and get unified so that we can go to the government and make our case,” she said. “Everybody has a horror story, everybody has bills, and everybody is devastated.”
I’m sure Henry Waxman is scheduling a hearing as I write this.
Madoff Investors Hope for Bailout [TPM]
Here’s the turd in the punchbowl re the automakers’ bailout: according to the NYT, Congress has to vote to release the second $350 BB of the $700 BB they approved or the gov’t won’t have the $$ to lend to GM etc. That would include the union-hating Senate Repubs, whom Bush cannot control. Hooya!
I’m just mad about Madoff.
Here it goes:
For years, us little folks have been fucked over repeatedly by our employers in the name of the “Shareholders” because THEY fucking demanded higher rate (and in retrospect, unrealistic) of returns.
Jobs here? Nope. Cost too much, must outsource.
Want a decent payraise? Nope. Cost too much.
Want a little more benefits? Fuck no. Cost too much.
Parental Leave? Fuck that
Universal HC? Too expensive–whatever
More money for roads and sewers? Nope
Tax cuts? Yes!
Fulfilling pension RESPONSIBILITIES? Fuck no.
Etc etc etc.
I’m not blind to the fact that many companies can not afford all these things, but the point is that we were told to sacrifice in the name of GREATER Rates of Return for a few.
Part of that insanity comes from guys like Madoff who promised out of this world rates of return. When someone got 12% annual ROR, they/we/us all wanted that 12 fucking percent and the asshole MBAs running the companies obliged at the little people’s expense.
I saw this in the tech bubble. All the tech companies knocked themselves apart to match Worldcom’s fabtrabulous margins of 40% only to find out later that it was all bullshit to keep that (rotting in jail) Albertan Shitbird Bernie in neck deep in Arabian horses, whores and blow.
Welcome to the poor house, formerly rich assholes. Madoff victims who are rich entitled assholes to the left, Madoff victims who are charities to the right. Charities, ignore the fact that the left is merely a garbage chute to the dumpster.
Always a catch. A very stupid catch.
If these people actually get money (other than from SIPC) they will be hunted down, gated community or no, and executed by the mob.
Has no one else noticed that the man’s name is pronounced “made off,” as in, “I made off with all your cash, asswipe!”
God yes, ponies all around!
@ManchuCandidate: You’re suggesting that there is something wrong with this: “neck deep in Arabian horses, whores and blow”?
No, just as long as one really earned it.
The only assets she has now are the pieces of furniture inside the motor home she’s been making payments on for the past four years.
My only asset — singular — is a Civic I’m paying off. What passes for my furniture is actually a liability, since I would need to pay to have it hauled away.
Then again, I’ve chosen the grad-student lifestyle. Freedom is low overhead.
Why do these people HATE FREEDOM? They were free to invest in certificates of deposit at sound savings banks. They are free to sell their houses, move into tents or just sit in them and burn their furniture for heat and hunt feral animals for food like the rest of us. Why would we deny them freedom of choice? Isn’t that what the Republican revolution has been about? What’s gone wrong is TOO MUCH REGULATION! Marxist schemes like SIPC deny Americans the freedom to take their own risks and profit from their creativity and innocation. That’s why all these people voted GOP, right! To get government off the backs of fearless innovators like Madoff who make America great!
@nojo: I’ve needed a new couch for a year. My Mac is 3 1/2 years old … My Sony TV is certainly worth something, and I could probably auction off my cookware for a few sheckels. I’m trying to think of something else I have of value. Not coming up with anything.
@FlyingChainSaw: A few more bankrupt millionaires, and maybe we’ll see some movement on universal health care.
@Dodgerblue: If I defrauded countless people in the course of running a massive ponzi scheme, I would most certainly make sure I had enough hookers and blow cached somewhere so they’d never catch me alive.
I got my retirement statement in the mail yesterday. I made the mistake of opening it. In the last quarter I lost twice as much as I put into it. I guess I should retire now and not wait for it to all disappear.
@nabisco: I’d include a 55-gal drum of Viagra, because, at my age, hitting a home run on every at-bat is problematic.
Hey hey hey. Save the overshares for Stinque After Darque! Hell, it’s not even noon on the left coast!
@SanFranLefty: I’m having lunch at a British pub down the street. Newcastle Nut-Brown Ale is calling to me.
I’m home sick. Nyquil beckons me. Better buzz than beer, too.
breaking: Levi Johnston’s mother hit with drug charges
Arrested: her son was in the spotlight as father of bristol palin’s baby.
There’s your better buzz, Lefty.
Citoyens/ennes, aux armes.
DodgerBlue beat you to it. But thanks for thinking of what could cheer me up!
I think I’m going to watch It’s a Wonderful Life for the five thousandth time for all the dark cynical reasons explained by the NYT (which are the reasons I love the movie).
@SanFranLefty: Goddammit, that’s what happens when I actually have to work.
@SanFranLefty: I’m going to leave early and visit Potential Mr. Rptrcub to fix my sorrows.
@Dodgerblue: So now it’s the fault of the Brits and their crap hop product laughingly know as “bierre”.
@SanFranLefty: Anything is a better buzz than beer.
@Benedick: It’s way better than most of the crap that passes for “beer” here in the colonies.
@Dodgerblue: Really? Warm and bitter served in dirty glasses? When you could have a nice frosty Miller?
@rptrcub: There’s a potential Mr Rptrcub? Excellent.
@SanFranLefty: What I laughingly call my “retirement” account is worth 1/3 of what it was when Dubya took office. I can haz bailout?
BTW, I have worked with attorneys from Bryan Cave, and they are the entitled asshole’s law firm of choice.
Krugman wrote similar screed about the finance industry albeit less angry, less profanity, less finger pointy and more coherent than mine. Can I haz co-Nobel Prize (or more likely the Captain Obvious Prize for redundancy?)
It’s what we now call Freedom (TM) 75, my dear!
Freedom 55 was a retirement plan advertized in Canada City aka retire at 55.
Can I haz Freedumb ™ 95?
@SanFranLefty: I miss Freedumb…
I remember when a trillion bucks was real money dammit!
@Mistress Cynica: Yes. It is very nice. It truly comes around when you’re not looking for it.
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