Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Should Have Worn My Love Beads

Harry Markopolos is the tenacious whistle-blower that tracked Bernie Madoff and tried unsuccessfully for many years to get the SEC to investigate Madoff.  Unfortunately, the SEC had more important things to do, and Madoff was exposed by the market crash of 2008, not by Markopolos.  Tonight, we went to see the worth-seeing movie Chasing Madoff, which described his long ordeal to do the right thing.  Although he was unsuccessful, Markopolos is nonetheless a hero! 

The movie played tonight-only at the Naro Theatre in Norfolk.  After the movie, some teaching economists gave their surprisingly superficial analysis of the film and then took questions from the audience, including advocates of the "Occupy Norfolk" crowd.  Because I live in the solidly-Republican enclave known as Virginia Beach, I was amused to hear relics of my college years in the 1960s.  There was even one speaker that I swear was a born-again socialist.

One example was the assertion that the Sherman Act and the Clayton Act (anti-trust legislation) was a conspiracy by big business to limit competition.  It was also used to hinder the growth of unions.  I've written before that conspiracy theories are usually the product of a lazy mind.  Tonight, I thought that person's theory was a product of something bordering on just really dumb.

There were other flashbacks to the 1960s, but the hour is late.  I guess it is more re-assuring than distressing that a flashback to my college years is still possible at my age.