Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Madoff vs Mortgages

The last several months have been filled with reporting about Bernard Madoff. We’ve also heard a lot about mortgages. Many seem to want to crucify the people who took out a mortgage to buy a home and now are having trouble making their payments. Why are these people not considered to be victims of a corrupt system? Rick Santelli considers them to be “losers.” And why are the people who invested in Madoff seen as victims of a corrupt system? Why isn’t Santelli labeling them as “losers” as well?

The people who invested in Madoff should have known better. Perhaps there are many who invested in Madoff and didn’t lose all of their money. The news media does not tell us of these investors, however I assume that they exist. The news media does focus on those investors who lost everything with Madoff. Why did these investors do this? They broke several of the most basic rules of investing. They did not diversify (they put all of their money with Madoff) and they did not invest only money that they could afford to lose.

Don’t get me wrong, Madoff is a crook and deserves what is probably coming to him. I am simply wondering why these two groups of victims have been treated differently by the news media. Is it because one group is poor and the other group is/was rich?

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