James Pethokoukis, who was my podcast guest on Monday, has the list of The 10 Dopiest Business and Economy Leaders of 2008. Topping the list? Madoff, who made off with billion$:
1) Bernard Madoff. If the federal government’s accusations prove correct, Madoff also belongs on a list of America’s most active and energetic senior citizens. The 70-year-old money manager was arrested by the FBI for allegedly running the largest Ponzi scheme this side of Social Security, losing an estimated $50 billion in client money. Investigators say Madoff told them that his business was just “one big lie.” Terrible news for numerous wealthy individuals, banks, and charitable foundations. A perfect way to cap off a perfectly terrible year on Wall Street.
I would give Warren Buffet an honorable mention for his call for higher income taxes at the corporate level and more progressive income taxes at the personal level. Luckily no one’s acted on it yet, but time will tell. There are enough fools out there to want to raise taxes during a recession.