Thursday, March 12, 2009

The banality of Bernie Madoff.

I didn't want him to say he was sorry. I wanted him to stand in front of the judge and say "I did it because I hate the human race", or "America", or "capitalism", or "my father", or whatever. Instead, it seems that it started, as do so many very bad things, not with lust to destroy, but with longing to please. Today's AP story quotes him:

"While I never promised a specific rate of return to any client, I felt compelled to satisfy my clients' expectations, at any cost," he said.
Somehow, in my view, the motive should fit the crime, and spectacular crimes should have spectacular motives.

3.13 update: The aptly named Gabe Pressman has this to say about the man he calls the "aptly named" Madoff. Pressman wonders, "Are MBA candidates taught to follow an ethical and moral framework in their careers?" If the MBA program I all but completed fifteen years ago is typical, the answer is "Yes." The problem isn't, in my opinion, a failure to teach ethics in MBA or other higher education programs. By then it's way too late to have much effect.