When ‘fund’ becomes a four letter word

The previous blog focused on how so many supposedly smart people and famous names from among the professional investment community could have been taken for a ride by Bernie Madoff’s scam. The inescapable conclusion was that they were guilty of either stupidity, or incompetence, probably mixed up with a good dash of either arrogance or laziness. These sterling qualities, rather […]

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Too good to be true, but not too bad to be true

It seems fair to say that the Madoff affair will come to be seen as a milestone in the development of three very different groups of people: a) the Jewish world in general and the American-Jewish community in particular; b) the money management profession, extending from private and other banks, through to hedge funds and other ‘vehicles’; c) people with money, whether a little (‘savers’), a lot (‘investors’), or a great deal (‘wealthy’).

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Beyond Money

“Help, oh Lord, for righteousness is at an end, for men of trust are extinct among people” Psalms, 12;2 Virtually nothing is clear about the Madoff affair. How he did it, to whom he did it, with whom he did it (the operation could not have been conducted single-handedly), how much money was involved, where did it come from, when […]

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Banking Blues

“My job is my bonus”. That’s how one employee at an (admittedly exceptionally hard-hit) global financial institution answered my question about this year’s bonuses at his firm. Someone else, at another (less battered) firm, mentioned in a matter-of-fact way that bonuses would be down 40-60% this year – and he expected the same next year. “Mind you”, he noted, “people’s […]

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ZIRP

Yes, that’s right, ZIRP. Never heard of it? Well, get used to the slightly unpleasant sound of this acronym, because there is every likelihood that you will hear it ad nauseam over the next year or more. Worse, if you are retired and trying to live off the income deriving from your investments, it could inflict serious damage on you. […]

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