Oh Bernie.

The big news story for the day is of course Bernie Madoff’s trial. I think the anger and vitriol directed at him by his victims is somewhat grotesque. They’re perfectly justified in being upset, of course he deserves the punishment he’s going to get, but the victims should really direct their ire at themselves. It is just plain stupid investing to neglect diversification, no matter how seemingly secure and lucrative. And really, these people made millions of dollars somehow. You would think they would know what to do with it. While it’s sure to be a controversial assertion, I would even suggest that perhaps the victims even deserved to lose their money.

Madoff deserves to go to jail. He blatantly and knowingly stole millions of dollars. But the fact that he acknowledged his crime during testimony today, acknowledged his wrongdoing and laid the truth bare before the agents of justice, that made me respect him a little bit more. He expressed remorse, in what seemed to me to be quite honest language. He gave the reason for his monster Ponzi scheme as a driving desire to meet the expectations of his investors. Is that not something we can all understand? A desire to meet the expectations of those who put trust in us? I feel slightly sorry for him. And yet he deserves the punishment he will get, there is no question.

I don’t really have a point, except that we should avoid thoughtlessly assimillating the victims’ anger, and exercise compassion for all parties involved. Criminals are people too.

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