Last night Bernard Madoff was arrested for running what was basically, the mother of all scams in the investment industry.
The other day, Governor Rod R. Blagojevich was caught trying to line his pockets by offering his pick to replace Senator Obama up for sale.
Men and greed.
Oh, sure, women are greedy, too. No question. We rarely rise to the same levels of power, though. I do not think we are above it, we simply haven't had the same opportunities.
With Madoff, I can personally say, it was clear it was a scam to me. For a long time. I've worked in the investment industry and served on investment committees for a long time. I knew, many people I knew also knew, that there was no way anyone could ever have those kind of returns.
It simply was too good to be true.
Why did people invest? Because they didn't want to see the man behind the curtain. They wanted the money.
I cannot even begin to explain the good Governor. He had it made. He had power and political clout. I guess it wasn't enough.
The fascinating thing to me, is that they don't realize they will get caught. Madoff had been doing this for YEARS. Decades. How he could have lived with taking money from people knowing they would never get it back is beyond me.
But did both men really honestly believe they would get away with it? I think Madoff knew the gig would be up eventually. Blagojevich was just an idiot.
I look at the three, privileged white boys I am raising and wonder how to keep their feet on the ground. How to install a sense of dignity and moral compass that is strong enough to weather any kind of temptation- and especially money and power.
I don't know how. But I know I have to.
Because men and greed... it's a bad combination.