Chase Madoff/Madoff Chase

HuffPost: Madoff's Relationship With JPMorgan Chase Should Shock No One
February 6, 2011

"So now we learn that senior executives with decision-making authority inside JPMorgan Chase -- the Wall Street behemoth that is supposedly run by the most mature of adults -- apparently suspected that Bernie Madoff was running an enormous Ponzi scheme even as they kept doing business with his firm. They supposedly kept funneling money his way and let him run cash through Chase accounts even as they were sending emails to one another reporting the creepy sense that the whole enterprise didn't look real. This, according to internal documents that came out in a lawsuit on Thursday.

We are presumably supposed to be shocked and horrified by this disclosure. Here is alleged evidence of a blurring of the lines between the legitimate, button-down world of high finance and the nefarious realm of a sprawling con game -- a scam run by a guy whose very name, Madoff, now goes down as a synonym for ripping people off on a grand scale.

But far from shocking, this is really just an appropriate plotline in a story that is finally becoming clear beyond argument: Those lines between criminal fraud and legitimate banking have been blurry for a long time.

The longer the reckoning goes on, the more we learn about the complex derivative deals stitched together by geniuses inside enormous financial institutions, turning simple home loans into trillions of dollars worth of synthetic financial products backed by almost nothing, the clearer this reality becomes. The financial crisis was no natural disaster, as some apologists still claim. It was not the result of risk-management models getting swamped by complexity, or a dreamy belief that home prices could go up forever (though both of those factors certainly played a role). It was, in simplest terms, a hostile takeover of the vital organs of finance by people willing to destroy things of intrinsic value -- people's homes, real businesses, retirement savings -- so they could extract a cut."

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Mark Madoff R.I.P.

Of several events not mentioned in the timeline post, perhaps one of the saddest is the death of Mark Madoff. Having a son myself, I have to believe that Bernie has lost something so precious that no amount of ill gotten monetary gain could ever be worth experiencing.

Then again, there are a lot of people in finance even now who really don't give a rat's ass about the pain they are continuing to cause so many as they take their millions and billions in bonuses I suppose.....just business as usual.

Historic timeline since September 2009

2009 - Pop icon Michael Jackson dies, creating the largest public mourning for an entertainer since the death of Elvis Presley.

2010 - The controversial Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is passed by razor-thin margins in Congress

2010 - The Deepwater Horizon oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico explodes, sending millions of gallons of oil into the sea. The spill becomes the worst oil spill in American history.

2010 - Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act

2010 - Republicans regain control of the House of Representatives and reduce the Democratic majority in the Senate.

2010 - A series of measures pass through an historic lame-duck session of Congress including an extension of Bush-era tax cuts for all Americans, the ratification of the New START II treaty with Russia, signing of an agreement to repeal the don't ask don't tell policy concerning gays and lesbians openly serving in the US military, and passage of a 9/11 first responders health-care bill.

2011 - U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords is targeted in an assassination attempt, when a gunman went on a shooting spree, critically injuring Giffords, killing federal judge John Roll and five other people, and wounding at least 13 others, at a "Congress on Your Corner" event Giffords was hosting in suburban Tucson, Arizona.

2011 - The US launches Operation Odyssey Dawn as part of UN military intervention in the Libyan civil war.

2011 - A series of tornadoes devastate the South, Alabama being the hardest hit. 339 people are killed in the deadliest natural disaster in the US since Hurricane Katrina.

2011 - Osama bin Laden, leader of al-Qaeda and mastermind of the September 11 attacks, is confirmed dead in Abbottabad, Pakistan by President Barack Obama.

Columbus Gas Prices again

This was my post in 2008:

As I was driving to the storage space, I filled up with gas; $3.52/ga. As I was driving back I looked at the sign and; $3.79/ga. Even before any damage is really done, they have raised the price. So, with that in mind...