“It is noteworthy that in all the glaring headlines and TV news media’s Pecksniffian commentary about Bernard Madoff’s $50 billion scam and now R. Allen Stanford’s multi-billion dollar gold brick, not one word has been heard about the federal government’s own ongoing confidence scheme. The recent “bailouts” of banks, mortgage companies and automakers, together with the $787 billion “stimulus” legislation and the $75 billion home mortgage “rescue” plan signed by President Barack Obama last week, share the same attributes and methodology as Madoff’s and Stanford’s, and differ from them only in scale. Compared to Congress, the U.S. Treasury, the Federal Reserve, and the myriad perpetuated entitlements such as Medicare, Social Security, the Federal Employees Retirement System, confidence men Madoff and Stanford are mere small-time grifters.”
He’s right. Ponzi schemes and much public sector pension/benefits systems are more or less identical. I guess the caveat is that with Mr Madoff and others, they were allegedly claiming, falsely, to be running funded schemes with actual investments in real assets. But the broad point is valid.