Crawl Across the Ocean

Monday, December 15, 2008

Fallin' / Time to Recalibrate my Cynicism Levels

Said where i would stop before i even started
When i get to one brick, then The Game i will depart with
Got to one brick then i looked to the sky, said
Sorry God, i lied, but give me one more try
Got to two bricks, new cars, new whips
But niggas never learn til' they end up in the newsclip
The irony of selling drugs is sort of like i'm using it
Guess its two sides to what 'substance abuse' is
Can't stop, won't stop, nigga since new shit
Brand new convertibles, i'm so ruthless
Front row, fight night-see how big my tube is?
Fuck HD, nigga see how clear my view is?
But there's a price for overdoing it
Doin' it this big'll put you on the map
Stick-up kids is out some tax
Plus the FBI Boys with the cameras in the back, DAMN!

I know i shouldnt've did that
I know its gon' come right back
I know its gon' destroy everything I made
Its probably gon' get ya boy sent away
But this game I play, ain't no way to fix it
Its inevitable -

(Lyrics from Jay-Z's Fallin')

Up until last week, I would have said that a rap song about the pitfalls of being a drug-dealing American gangster would likely apply quite well to any Wall Street investment types.

But after reading about Bernie Madoff and the $50 billion + ponzi scheme he's been running on Wall Street for decades despite numerous newspaper articles pointing out the dubious nature of his investment strategy and returns, and how he was done in in the end not by any regulators but simply by a shortage of cash during the economic downturn, it turns out that the Fallin' lyrics are nothing short of hopelessly naive when applied to Wall Street.

No need to worry about attracting police attention by growing too large there. If a $50 billion fraud doesn't get the attention of regulators, one wonders what would.

Update: More on Madoff, Red Tory links to an old video of Madoff pontificating on life on Wall Street, and how he goes down to the SEC and complains that Wall Street is over-regulated, and how now that they can't make money from commissions any more, the big money is made by taking risks, and how the public doesn't understand that "in today's regulatory environment is is impossible for a violation of the rules to go undetected, particularly over a long period of time". Great stuff!

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