Judge Denny Chin certainly got the sentencing right – Madoff’s crimes and motives were certainly heinous – almost like a serial financial murderer of no remorse. But there are still notable problems.
First, there are many more beyond Madoff who were complicit and so far appear to have gotten off. The Madoff family. The many brokers and auditors who worked with Madoff. The argument, Madoff is not telling, rings hollow. For example, no one at the SEC who had numerous warnings from several parties, has been called on the carpet or indicted. But there are larger issues as well.
In effect, Madoff [and possibly Stanford] have become Flak Catchers and Flogging Posts – they get punished so others will not. String up the easy culprits. In the past 3 years, there have been other monumental Financial misdeeds – and most of the perpertrators have gotten away scott free. Think Anthony Mozillo and the CountryWide crew. Think Moodys, Fitch and Standard and Poor ratings executives and their triple AAA ratings for garbage instruments. Think the creators and marketers of the derivative instruments such as the CDS-Credit Default Swaps that have blown up so many financial firms. Think of so many big Investment Bankers and Hedge Funders who leveraged so highly that any misstep put their organizations in danger of insolvency.. Yes – some had to pay the bankruptcy price in the case of Bear Stearns and Lehman Brothers; but so many more resorted to Moral Hazard Government Insurance policies – getting huge sums of TARP bailout to rescue them. Finally the number of Short Sellers that tweeted themselves to ill-gotten gains …. This is the detruitus of the financial debacle which appear to have marshalled together all the cash, lobby and other connections, and minimal Obama Financial Team regulations to set in motion No New Normal and the Next Great Financial Bubble – incoming in about 2-3 years time or less. There are plenty of excesses in balance of trade, government deficits, Green Resolutions, and Disruptive Global Economics and/or Politics to insure that outcome.