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Portrait of a Decade of Greed and Excess

Updated on April 12, 2015

Decade; noun = 10 year period

According to Websters dictionary and mathematicians this decade does not officially end until December 31, 2010. So far this decade has revealed that humans are no longer satisfied with keeping up with the Jones, most want to be the Jones.

Due to the credit industry and lack of restraint, we the general population, have spiraled our economy into a declined that has not been experienced since the depression era. Unemployment, foreclosures, bankruptcies and corporation failures are at an all time high. The reason greed. Okay it's a given mankind has been greedy for ages, with the advent of modern technology it has become easier to fleece the flock.

We've been bombarded weekly with financial horror stories that have recently taken place. Con artist using well organized ponzi schemes to not only steal from the rich, but to fill their coffers from charities, retirement funds and the savings of retired citizens.

You've all heard the names, Madoff, Stringer and Nadel. Corporations; Enron, AIG, GMC, Bear Stanley and Indy Mac. Too many to list, most persons and entities trusted through generations by some. If you believe the media hype Madoff's victims all deserve what they got, but on closer examination, most knew this man through generations of family members and invested, because they trusted him.

Greed; n - excessive desire- it is difficult to feel for those who decided, to place all their eggs in one basket. Never investigating to see where profits were generated from, just eager to rake them in. This excessive desire meted fortunes for the scammers, while some of their willing victims are literally eating out of trash cans today.

Scammers and their ill gotten gain;

Madoff - scammed billions from his investors, dispersed not much, but spent the majority of investors inherited and hard earned monies. At auction there were millions of dollars worth of Ruth Madoff's jewelry prices ranging from $1,300.00 - 10,000.00 for earrings,necklaces, watches, bracelets, rings pendants and broaches cataloged on at least a dozen pages. Several homes and eight boats, yes eight.

AIG- most material assets have been kept secret, but after receiving $170 billion in taxpayer bailout funds, they claim they're obligated to payout more than $165 million in bonuses to to retain top management. Alrighty keep the con artist that got you into the mess to do what? .. more cover ups? The accounting for "this too big to fail" entity is so convoluted that the powers that be hope this situation will fade and we'll forget that we taxpayers own 80% of the company. This is including a mansion in Connecticut, overlooking a private golf course and creek that contains it's own private pond.

Enron- the executives that ran this entity into the ground are still living the high life while the hard working struggle to make ends meet. One executive's wife, a Mr. Lay, complained that her family has had to liquidate $20 million dollars worth of Aspen real estate, but they're keeping a $7.21 million, 13,000 square foot Houston based condo, well boo hoo to you. Another executive sold two luxury homes in Aspen and a $5.9 million riverview penthouse in Washington (the executive remarked that he and his family weren't really condo people) he's currently building 15,000 sq foot home in Naples, Florida and keeping his $6.5 million beach front property.

Arthur Nadel- another ponzi scheme artist that went missing with $350 million dollars in funds lifted from six hundred investors. Mr. Nadel has transferred several pieces of property, wisely, into his wife Marguerite's name. Several single family homes, forty five lots and and thirty seven acres in Georgia. Added to his haul are five airplanes, one helicopter and thirty-one airport hangars also located in Georgia.

Rod Cameron Stringer;Lubbock, TX - ah yes another ponzi schemer - this heist netted $13 million and some change, some investors received about $6 mil back and there is still $7 million and some change that are unaccounted for. Represented himself as a "day trader" who used the pilfered funds to purchase, residential, rental and vacation properties for he and his family.

I think it's hard for me and other to feel for the "investors" because no one twisted their arms and forced them to invest. A ponzi scheme has no substance, no product just empty promises of hefty returns. It and the pyramid scheme fall along the same lines, those who invest first receive the returns to draw in other "investors". This scheme is easier to perpetuate with new technology money can wire from one account to another in hours. It's just a newer version of the shuffle game. Guess what walnut shell the pea is under .... and all the time the pea was palmed.

Hopefully, this last year of this insane decade man will have gained some insight and learned that if it's too good to be true it is. How many homes, boats or jewels does one need? We have innocent children all over the world hungry and dying, but to narcissistic souls it's all about them and the Benjamin's. Hey I've nothing against the rich..if you're blessed enough to reach that star more power to you, but I like being able to sleep at night.

Have a Happy, knowledgeable, prosperous New Year, my fellow hubbers and friends!


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    • Askme profile image


      8 years ago

      pmccray, You summed up the Decade of Greed expertly. I am only sorry to hear the decade doesn't end until 12/31/2010, I was hoping it was done and over 12/31/2009!!

      My mother who lived thru the Great Depression stretched a buck like no one else. We kids use to laugh about how she never threw away anything, my dad too. Everything was recycled into something else, adapted and reused. It use to bug me.

      becoming an adult as a baby boomer, I lived to the fullest extent conspious consumption, but I don't think I was foolish. I did invest and did not have all my eggs in one basket.

      Sadly now, with this "Great Recession" I've gone from upper middle class to below the proverty level. I am applying for food stamps (as many of my friends have done). I will now become part of the system.

      My only saving grace is my inheritence which has been somewhat secured, thanks to parents who invested wisely and lived frugally. I've had to liquidate everything, 401k's, stocks, investment properties, just to keep a roof over my and learn!

    • pmccray profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Utah

      I moan and groan about my day job, but shudder to think of the alternative some of us are truly blessed. Happy New Year to you and yours, thanks for taking the time to read my hub.

    • profile image

      Tammy Lochmann 

      8 years ago

      well said...I think the very same things...Glad though that I am not one of the millions that have been affected terribly by all of this. Happy New Year.


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