Herald letter to the editor about Madoff / Picard

By | December 27, 2010

Here’s the letter I originally sent to the Boston Herald, with mark-up (strikeout for removed text, green for added) showing what they actually printed today:

To the editor:

It is infuriating to see rich people, who can afford to give back their imaginary “profits” from Bernie Madoff’s Ponzi scheme, whining about the actions of Irving Picard, the trustee for Bernie Madoff’s defunct firm.

As the Herald noted, Picard isn’t suing people who can’t afford to give the money back. In contrast, many of the victims for whom Picard is trying to recover assets were literally impoverished by Madoff.

Any profits withdrawn by Madoff’s “investors” were fraudulent. As the trustee for Madoff’s defunct firm, Picard is required by law to do everything in his power to recover those profits to help other victims. Blaming Picard for what he is doing is as absurd as blaming the police for recovering a stolen car and returning it to its rightful owner.

Picard is even permitted to sue investors for more than just their profit if they knew or should have known that it was a scam. Plenty of the people Picard is suing are sufficiently savvy that they should have known something was fishy. Rather than complaining, they should be happy that they, unlike most of the victims, got back their initial stake, and that Picard isn’t suing them for more.

Jonathan Kamens

My wife would say that they took out the last paragraph because I tried to make two points in my letter instead of just one, and removing the second point makes the first one stronger. I suppose she’s right. But I can’t fathom why they added the extra “Bernie” in the first paragraph.

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