This week's is a little more relevant to this blog's genre. It's a look at why even well-promulgated and well-tended regulations don't obviate the need for us to tread carefully. Bernie Madoff makes an appearance therein.
I'd like to add a postscript here, based upon my concern that Madoff has the right kind of wits to see a means for an easy ride in jail. Criminals tend to believe that they're victims. They also tend to dream of escape, and have little respect for the criminal justice system. If Madoff tells tales about how he made the regulators looks like idiots for over a decade, he'll be a well-liked fellow in jail (except amongst those who seriously desire to reform.) That kind of tale would not only make Madoff an "elder statesman of crime," it would also make him look like a tragic hero that could be 'bettered' by someone more cunning. Madoff strikes me as a person who would swap how-to-fool-'em stories for an easy time from his fellow immates.
This pessimistic opinion may have come from watching too many crime shows, but it doesn't seem unrealistic to me. There's an implication that I'd like to bring to light: Madoff successfully sapped a wall. It may be repaired, it may stand as strong as it was, but the wall was breached and everyone knows it. I don't think he'll be the last crook that proves to have a dark talent for conning regulators.
If you're here from ESR, I thank you for stopping by; I hope you appreciated the above postscript.
Buffett's annual letter
4 hours ago