Marc Dreier's Crime of Destiny
November 25, 2009 4:19 PM   Subscribe

 
> This was a man who went bad to have everything.

Just another loser who could never get enough.
posted by The Card Cheat at 4:48 PM on November 25, 2009 [5 favorites]


Interesting read, thanks for posting it.
posted by jsonic at 5:09 PM on November 25, 2009


It's sad that people with this much money have no sense. I don't mean that they should have the sense to not steal so much money. Of course, there's that. Bur really, it's sad that someone with this much money can't find something meaningful to do with it. I can't imagine the amount of people I could feed or educate with the money this idiot had before he started this stupid scheme. This guy could only get satisfaction through theft. What a sad lack of insight and wasted opportunity. I am one degree of separation from someone who's net worth is in the hundred millions. She is a coked out mess that takes her private jet to parties. It makes me sad--for her, but also what a fucking waste of money that other people or animals so desperately need. It just makes me sad to think about.
posted by milarepa at 5:14 PM on November 25, 2009 [3 favorites]


would it have killed you to actually explain what the article was going to be about?
posted by krautland at 5:14 PM on November 25, 2009 [4 favorites]


A long story worth reading. It is interesting to hear the confessions of a talented man, who, after years of feeling under appreciated began to cross the grey lines of the law, which then made it easier for him to cross the black ones. It is a slow process, from personal dissatisfaction towards full blown crime, and this article provides a good example of how it happens.

While I don't feel sorry for the man, or respect him, I do think that his reflections upon himself at the end of the article are valuable to all of us:
“Many people,” he observed, “are caught up in the notion that success in life is measured in professional and financial achievements and material acquisitions, and it’s hard to step back from that and see the fallacy. You have to try and measure your life by the moments in your day."
I have a feeling he's learned a big lesson recently which is best learned slowly, a day at a time.
posted by localhuman at 5:20 PM on November 25, 2009


I have a feeling he's learned a big lesson recently which is best learned slowly, a day at a time.

"Don't steal hundreds of millions of dollars of other people's money. Okay, got it, can I go free now?"

Fuck him and his entire fucking family.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 5:27 PM on November 25, 2009 [7 favorites]


would it have killed you to actually explain what the article was going to be about?

To be fair, an enormous number of articles in Vanity Fair are 'NARCISSISTIC SOCIOPATH STEALS MONEY FROM OTHER PEOPLE, SHOWS NO REMORSE.'

These usually run opposite advertisements of someone being admired for having a $20,000 watch.
posted by Sidhedevil at 5:28 PM on November 25, 2009 [30 favorites]


Dreier won’t say it, but in some inescapable way he found the fiery fall of the Twin Towers a metaphor for his career, for his entire life.

He won't say it... but the interviewer knows it. Somehow.

We have a mind reader.
posted by LogicalDash at 5:33 PM on November 25, 2009 [2 favorites]


60 Minutes on Dreier
posted by HP LaserJet P10006 at 5:35 PM on November 25, 2009


Fuck him and his entire fucking family.

Did you read the part where he got divorced before deciding to start his own firm? That is, before committing any of the crimes he's now in jail for?

Yeah... he left his family before stealing all that money.


...And if he hadn't, why would you assume that his family was responsible for what he did?
posted by LogicalDash at 5:48 PM on November 25, 2009 [1 favorite]


"Don't steal hundreds of millions of dollars of other people's money. Okay, got it, can I go free now?"

If you read the whole article, you'll understand that it may be a bit more complicated than that.
posted by localhuman at 6:00 PM on November 25, 2009 [1 favorite]


LogicalDash And if he hadn't, why would you assume that his family was responsible for what he did?

It's one of those ugly instincts that are common to all human cultures and the smarter mammals, which implies that we've had it since we had tails. A wrongdoer's family are blamed, often (but not always) unfairly, for failure to restrain him, and/or being like him, and/or benefiting from his wrongdoing. Also, hurting a person's family is one of the classic methods of taking vengeance on that person, because however unaware or uninvolved the family members, it is presumed by the unimaginative and vengeful (to be fair, usually correctly) that harming some family member of theirs will be hurtful to them.

That said, I expect Optimus Chyme just wanted to say something nasty. ("And the horse you rode in on" would be equally appropriate.)
posted by aeschenkarnos at 6:01 PM on November 25, 2009


why would you assume that his family was responsible for what he did?

Ruth Madoff did a lot to poison the well of public opinion on the spouses of swindlers.
posted by Sidhedevil at 6:01 PM on November 25, 2009


It's quite astounding that Dreier could convince multiple hedge funds to give him upwards of $60 million each simply by making a fake accounting sheet in Excel for a company he didn't even work for or represent as council.

Even the most basic amount of auditing or research would have shown these deals to be obvious frauds. A simple phone call to the company Dreier claimed to be representing would have sufficed. I guess they saw him as such a hot-shot high rolling lawyer that they simply never thought to question it.
posted by jsonic at 6:10 PM on November 25, 2009 [2 favorites]


"Even the most basic amount of auditing or research would have shown these deals to be obvious frauds."

Which I think is the thing that's roiling my stomach: how easy it is in the end to steal from the soi-disant Masters of the Universe. So long as you were ever connected in the first place.

—All's I need's ten thousand bucks right now, say. I ain't saying I'm good for it, but Christ on a crutch, a third of a billion?
posted by kipmanley at 6:28 PM on November 25, 2009


My god, what a douche.

And for every assholish "Master of the Universe" who gets caught, there are ten who don't.
posted by bardic at 6:29 PM on November 25, 2009 [1 favorite]


would it have killed you to actually explain what the article was going to be about?

Maybe just a little ;)
posted by shivohum at 6:42 PM on November 25, 2009


It's quite astounding that Dreier could convince multiple hedge funds to give him upwards of $60 million each simply by making a fake accounting sheet in Excel for a company he didn't even work for or represent as council.

Even the most basic amount of auditing or research would have shown these deals to be obvious frauds.



Actually, in this particular case, that's really not true. See my comment in the last thread.
posted by The Bellman at 6:59 PM on November 25, 2009


Optimus you seem to have a lot of anger, and it seems a shame that you let it drag the tone of comments down on so many posts.
posted by smoke at 7:00 PM on November 25, 2009 [3 favorites]


Actually, in this particular case, that's really not true.

I don't know, Bellman. You'd think that with $60 million on the line, the hedge funds might want to at least verify that the person claiming to represent a company is actually, you know, representing them. All it takes is one phone call to establish this and to unveil Dreier's fraud for what is was.

I'm actually surprised that this didn't even happen by accident. You'd think the hedge fund managers might bump into people from the company Dreier was lying about and be confounded when they had no idea about the investments they made. Do these "masters of the universe" not travel in the same social circles at all, at least on occasion?
posted by jsonic at 7:14 PM on November 25, 2009


jsonic: In most cases, Dreier did, in fact, represent the asset holders. That's how he got into their conference rooms to hold the meetings. The asset behind the $60 million mentioned above, for example, was purportedly some extremely famous commercial real estate belonging to Sheldon Solow. Solow apparently knew nothing about the deal, but Dreier actually was (or had been) one of Solow's many lawyers.
posted by The Bellman at 7:25 PM on November 25, 2009


Bellman: Seems Dreier was a social engineer extraordinaire. It's still amazing that such seemingly sophisticated financial organizations can be tricked out of such large sums of money. Then again, maybe they all had their investments insured by AIG...which would explain their lack of worry.
posted by jsonic at 7:36 PM on November 25, 2009 [1 favorite]


Optimus you seem to have a lot of anger, and it seems a shame that you let it drag the tone of comments down on so many posts.

Terribly sorry, my good chap; mayhaps we can discuss the many wonderful things Dreier has done for the world, including bankrupting and killing innocent people.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 7:46 PM on November 25, 2009 [2 favorites]


I have a small suspicion that the reason the "Optimus Chyme"s of the site are so angry and vocal is because so few around here fully appreciate the magnitude of this crisis, have little experience is the day-to-day, and aren't well versed in any of the solutions that are necessary. So you inevitably get the tirades of "they're stealing from all of us", "let's string them all up and ask questions later", and my personal favorite - "fuck Wall Street".

Part of the issue is how complex the financial services field has become, and how intertwined it is with EVERYTHING. Part of the problem is that this country lacks an education in basic finance (I mean really, even if a banker lies to you and tell you that a half million dollar mortgage is reasonable when you make $75K, you have to have some basic math skills here, and here I blame our school system/curriculum). Part of it is the sheer magnitude of the salaries being bandied about, even though a good 90-95% of the "banking" industry makes far less than $100k. Part of it is good old fashion populism, trying to create a furor to generate votes (sure helped Obama in the election - TARP was like a freaking pony for his campaign). But we also can't forget that anger is part of Optimus Chyme's schtick - tired, but still brings in a crowd of pitchfork wielding MeFites.
posted by SeizeTheDay at 8:44 PM on November 25, 2009 [1 favorite]


From the piece: “Even a good person can lose their way,” he goes on. “This is not just a story about someone who engaged in a significant crime, but the less dramatic point, you know, is people who are following a certain path, who go to the right schools, who do the right things.… You can still lose your way. In a terrible way. As I did.”

S'funny, I went to the right schools. Did the right things. Don't remember anyone telling me "Hey Smed, by the way, don't screw people out of millions of dollars to jerk off your hyperinflated ego because you're not going to live forever and maybe a lot of people are going to be really really hurt by that." Was there a class I missed?
Perhaps being a "good person" means doing, y'know, good things.

Me, I'm a violent hellbound bastard, but I don't fuck up financial systems because I need to buy a bunch of stuff and I still walk old ladies across streets. If I had $380 million I might have a bigger basement but I'd drive the same pos jeep. Apart from getting another degree, I'd probably plug all that cash into an NGO and forget about it so I don't have to worry about maybe my kids don't get kidnapped for ransom or someone making off with all the bait I line my house with.
My life has been a stunning success and I've been on a leader track for most of it. Maybe 'success' isn't having a lot of junk or feeling the flow of power under your hand and being a 'good person' is a sign of a successful life. I'll see my kids get married. I'll go to bed with my wife.
S'funny, time and again I've made that choice. And maybe my career has suffered a bit for it, but not much. But when it comes to being there for my family and friends, doing what I have to do to feel like I'm making a difference in someone's life, I'll do it. And I wouldn't take $380 million for any of that.
Just weird how it seems to take waking up in a piss stained cell next to a murderer seems to shake people into that perspective.
Not to go all prodigal son here - but damn, man, there are millions of people monkey smart enough to rob lots of money from wherever. They don't.
So, what, they're not successes? The choices they made not to screw things up, they don't get credit for but we're supposed to cut this guy a break because he's suddenly seen the light?

It's nice he's reformed and realizes material gain isn't what's important in life (and his connection to 9/11 - oh yah, real f'ing poignant). But it still doesn't look like he's looking to make amends, undo the damage, maybe go speak to people about how to catch people like him.
Nice he's offering himself up as an object lesson. But again - plenty of people who put in time, punching the clock, doing the right things and working to make the world a better place. Where's that in him? 'Cos I sure don't see it by anything he's said here.
posted by Smedleyman at 9:12 PM on November 25, 2009 [4 favorites]


I can't believe how sleazy and greedy and so completely lacking in ethics this guy is. Even judges were calling him "Sleazy..tacky, shabby, base, low, malicious, petty, nasty [and] unsavory" But he's so brilliant that he presents himself as a poor victim and people here are actually buying into it. Talk about alligator tears!

I'm with Optimus Chyme here. His anger is entirely justified.
posted by eye of newt at 9:17 PM on November 25, 2009 [4 favorites]


"I have a small suspicion that the reason the "Optimus Chyme"s of the site are so angry and vocal is because so few around here fully appreciate the magnitude of this crisis, have little experience is the day-to-day, and aren't well versed in any of the solutions that are necessary."

True. I've often lamented that so many MeFites get up in arms about this torture business when in fact foreign policy and military affairs are highly complex operations involving trillions of dollars and far more in man-hours and they have very little experience in daily military operations such that they seem to think not electrifying someone's balls or holding a rag on their face and pouring water on it to simulate drowning is some kind of crime involving war simply because there are clearly stated treaties stating the fact.

It's not easy to go from grey to black. I've been in grey. I chose not to cross the black lines. What am I Superman? There are a lot more guys like me than those who choose to do the crime. And let's be clear -we're not talking about a lawyer who bills at ten thousand an hour, has hundreds of other lawyers working for him and heads off to play golf where the membership is more than most people's mortgage - identity theft and fraud are a crimes.
He didn't slip and whoops, just happened to do this time and again because finance is just so complex - this was done with deliberation.
I've operated in the rarefied air. There are people who see a way to get what they want out of it, there are people who just see the power and there are people who see responsibility.
Whatever kind of money was/is being thrown about, Dreier is not one of the latter.
posted by Smedleyman at 9:31 PM on November 25, 2009 [2 favorites]


SeizeTheDay: “Part of the issue is how complex the financial services field has become, and how intertwined it is with EVERYTHING. Part of the problem is that this country lacks an education in basic finance (I mean really, even if a banker lies to you and tell you that a half million dollar mortgage is reasonable when you make $75K, you have to have some basic math skills here, and here I blame our school system/curriculum). Part of it is the sheer magnitude of the salaries being bandied about, even though a good 90-95% of the "banking" industry makes far less than $100k. Part of it is good old fashion populism, trying to create a furor to generate votes (sure helped Obama in the election - TARP was like a freaking pony for his campaign). But we also can't forget that anger is part of Optimus Chyme's schtick - tired, but still brings in a crowd of pitchfork wielding MeFites.”

Part of the problem lies in the fact that it's not a 'schtick.' Part of the problem – aw, hell, maybe the whole problem – lies in the fact that a certain Karl Marx, tragically wrong about so many things, turned out to be damned fucking right about the evils of capitalism. Why is that the problem? Because a whole lot of capitalists who benefit from a system of injustice refuse to see that "just leave everyone to their own devices and let them accumulate whatever they'd like" is not a system that leads to any sort of just world, and that any vague illusion of justice or even stability that capitalism has brought us is due to the fact that rich people, people who have a vested interest in maintaining the status quo, have managed to control even the production of illusions over the last hundred years.

Nobody's actually told me yet, for example, just what evil it would do if government taxed the populace in such a way that no one person was allowed to hold more than $500,000 of capital or more that $1,000,000 in assets at any given time – that is, if government took, say, 95% of any earnings of such people and levied grand property taxes on them, making the gaining of wealth above a certain point prohibitive. And yet, if we did that – if we really, effectively made it impossible and illegal for anyone to be actually disgustingly wealthy, terrible, tragic stories like these, stories where single human beings have managed to destroy thousands upon thousands of lives and alter the economies of states and nations through an apparently mundane and relatively simple crime like stealing, would never be possible. A hundred years ago, simple practical circumstances all but prevented any one individual from amassing such ridiculously large fortunes; those practical circumstances need to be replaced with an actual government cap.
posted by koeselitz at 10:10 PM on November 25, 2009 [2 favorites]


from article: “The incident began in February 2004, when Kalikow opened both the New York Post and The New York Times and, to his dismay, found large, bogus legal notices listing more than 400 creditors from a bankruptcy he had endured more than a decade earlier, in 1991... Kalikow was incensed; the ads were utterly untrue. He was convinced that someone had placed them to humiliate him personally. Seeking to find out who, he turned to Stanley Arkin, a crafty New York attorney who specializes in ferreting out corporate espionage and all kinds of international intrigues; it was Arkin who famously built the case that American Express had hired private detectives to plant articles defaming the late international banker Edmond Safra, a story I told in a 1992 book. In the intervening years Arkin has become his own mini-conglomerate, forming an intelligence agency, Arkin Group, run by a former top official at the Central Intelligence Agency.

“It took Arkin and his men barely a week to identify the secret hand behind the strange ads. At the bottom of the ads was a company name, Evergence Capital Advisors; a check of Florida records indicated Evergence was a dissolved corporation formerly headed by someone named Kosta Kovachev. A cross-check of records revealed that Kovachev was the target of an S.E.C. lawsuit involving some kind of time-share scam; his attorney was listed as Marc Dreier. Even more telling, a telephone number on the ads was answered at Dreier’s office.

Kalikow wasn’t surprised; he and Solow had been squabbling for years, ever since Kalikow had repaid a loan from Solow earlier than Solow had hoped, leaving Solow irked at the lost income.”
Okay, so: the guy wanted to know who placed the ad... the ad had a telephone number at the bottom... and the number went to the offices of the lawyer of a person the guy was currently feuding with, a lawyer the guy was almost certainly acquainted with? And so the guy called some high-powered 'mini-congomerate' attorney-detective-corporate spy dude famous for getting information to discover the blindingly obvious? And said corporate-spy attorney dude billed this idiot for a week of work that would take me ten minutes on google?

Holy living crap, but rich people are stupid.
posted by koeselitz at 10:35 PM on November 25, 2009 [4 favorites]


I used to work for a big law firm, in a support area. The thing that used to leave me breathless every time was the fact that the firm charged $250-odd per hour, billed in 6-minute increments regardless of who did the work. And quite often, the person doing the work was just some lowly student or, even worse, me.

In my opinion, it takes a special kind of audacity and arrogance to be totally fine with sending out a bill like that. Perhaps lawyers regard billing as a negotiation process where you start high and bargain a bit to reach a mutually-acceptable middle ground. But it left a bad taste in my mouth every single time I had to fill in a timesheet. I used to get in trouble a lot for being tardy with them, or assigning my time to non-billable accounts.

So it's not such a big surprise to learn that a lawyer was particularly susceptible to the kind of opportunities for massive fraud that hedge funds represented. The regular and perfectly acceptable custom of billing is totally fraudulent anyway, so what's a little more fraud?
posted by Ritchie at 11:14 PM on November 25, 2009 [2 favorites]


"I obviously am sincerely, deeply remorseful and sorry about what I did, and hopefully an interview can convey to people I hurt how remorseful I am"

That is very far from obvious. You kept trying to swindle people out of millions of dollars up until the very moment you were caught. I find it curious that your remorse only developed once you were in prison. If you were still free, I suspect that you wouldn't be sorry at all and would be continuing to steal other people's money to feed your pathetic dream.
posted by twirlypen at 12:11 AM on November 26, 2009 [1 favorite]


That's not even the most obvious bit, I think, twirlypen. The bit that got me in the article is that the man struggles to maintain his composure when talking about the chief target of his fraud because he's still so damned angry – and then he has to spend a few minutes telling himself, 'no, what I did wasn't justified, it was very, very wrong.' With speeches that frankly sound pretty hollow.
posted by koeselitz at 12:28 AM on November 26, 2009


I'm also surprised by the lack of due dilligence done by the hedge funds. When my employer retains a vendor, we assess their business, business continuity planning, physical and data security. If one of these investors had done just that (and I can offer very attractive rates on a security audit!) it would've fallen through.

Obviously, most of the time, that level of assessment wasn't necessary for the firms to make money. Which says something.
posted by These Premises Are Alarmed at 11:46 AM on November 26, 2009


Optimus you seem to have a lot of anger, and it seems a shame that you let it drag the tone of comments down on so many posts.

It seems to me there should be a whole lot more anger given how the superultrawealthy have completely fucked you over.
posted by five fresh fish at 12:01 PM on November 26, 2009 [1 favorite]


It seems to me there should be a whole lot more anger

I absolutely agree. My comment was about the "and your family" thing. I'm fine with dragging this guy from his apartment, hanging him from a lamppost and setting him on fire. (Which is illegal and likely to be troublesome to carry out, unfortunately.) But his relatives, unless they've actually been involved in his crimes, don't deserve to be involved in his punishment either.
posted by aeschenkarnos at 1:48 PM on November 26, 2009


For the record, my problem is not with the sentiment per se, but the way its expressed. I can listen to talkback radio to hear opinions like that; it certainly doesn't qualify as best of the web, nor does it demonstrate any thought (or evidence that the story in question was actually read).

I'm not saying that everyone has to read every link, isn't allowed to swear, or get angry, or have a short comment on a post. However, I do think that thoughtful responses do genuinely beget other thoughtful, interesting responses, and thus improve the metafilter experience for everybody.

Likewise, shallow, unedifying responses can easily set the tone for a post. Personally, I wouldn't talk like that to someone's face, and I don't really see what's to be gained by talking like that on the internet, but I definitely acknowledge that this is purely my opinion and that no one else is obliged to hold it.
posted by smoke at 2:10 PM on November 26, 2009 [2 favorites]


It takes a village to raise a child, aeschenkarnos. Maybe the family is guilty by association because they didn't rein in their sociopathic greedhead.
posted by five fresh fish at 4:52 PM on November 26, 2009


nor does it demonstrate any thought (or evidence that the story in question was actually read).

The reason I said "fuck him and his entire family" is because his dimwit 19 year-old son barged into a meeting at Dreier LLP after shit went down, trying to convince the employees to "rally behind" his father. His father who lost all their jobs for them and put a smoking crater in their résumés. If my boss fucked me over that bad, and his son tried to tell me to get behind him, I'd probably murder the little bastard.

If you didn't get that, maybe you should have read the article.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 5:31 PM on November 26, 2009 [4 favorites]


"However, I do think that thoughtful responses do genuinely beget other thoughtful, interesting responses, and thus improve the metafilter experience for everybody."

I agree. But there's a difference between useless posts, contrarianism and visceral response. In some posts more visceral responses aren't well received, but they're easily ignored.

Here, the man in question is so shallow and crass and so blatantly guilty that there's little else in the way of thoughtful response. He shouldn't have done what he did. He doesn't sound sincere or actually remorseful and he's not doing anything genuinely productive in the way of making amends of any sort.
He's apparently only come to the realization that there are things that far, far outweigh material gain.
Actually, I'm a bit envious. My personal sin was excellence. I was very very good at doing certain things (were I a violinist I'd've been a prodigy) that I realized (a bit late) weren't really serving the ideals I held in the best manner. That was tough to give up. Especially when there's so much earnest support for it. And it does seem necessary. As opposed to having 20 cars or some such.
Not that I'm complaining. Other folks have their crosses to bear as well. The difference is at some point perhaps for most folks sooner than later, people realize the things that really matter - human compassion, relationships, etc. etc. are worth our best efforts rather than being taken for granted.

Some folks build on that and start moving to more abstracted principles like maybe yes, love your family, but don't love only your family. And on and so forth and everyone does the best they can.
But they realize the trade off is worth it. In my case the contrast is even more stark. Instead of being Joshua Bell in something that wasn't feeding my soul, I'm Joe Sixpack in something that does.
Doesn't make me special, I'm just contrasting my own experience of being high-performing and indeed, elite in my chosen field, to Dreier's own. I chose to step back and examine what I was doing and whether it was truly worthwhile for me. And that's especially because I excelled, not, as Dreier seems to assert, somehow at odds with it.
But a lot of people make these kinds of choices. That's why there are so many 'common' people.
And they get zero credit for it. (Glengarry Glen Ross "Good father? Fuck you go home and play with your kids") And yet, there is no job more important than being a parent. Especially being a parent to someone who's not your kid. In other words a caretaker.
And there are people who take care of a few. Those who take care of many. There have been a few who look to take care of all mankind.
In stark contrast to how we seem to celebrate people like Dreier who have lots of stuff, money, and other bullshit - we typically we degrade and kill these people.
Usually in progressively more spectacular ways the more moral and dedicated they are. So some dockworker taking his kids to help orphans on the weekends, you just grind that guy down, make him kiss ass all week for not coming in on the weekend or doing overtime because he wants to help his kids with homework.
Some guy not cooperating non-violently - especially if he's successful or talking about the day when all God's children, black men and white men Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of an old black spiritual: 'Free at last, free at last! Thank God almighty we are free at last!'" - yeah, you have to really go high profile and blow their heads off, nail them to trees, even better if you can put them on trial first.
After that of course you have have holidays in their honor.

But this guy? No one went looking to make an example out of him. He was swimming with the current. He made his bed, why kick about having him lay down in it?

The only other thing to address is a system which allows this. Now I have deep concerns about communism, etc. and I might not agree with everything said upthread concerning capitalism - but on the other hand - there's no denying this is a big red flag in terms of a systemic problem - not, as has been posited, an abberition.
So I don't see much ground to argue. Unless we wanted to go off on a tangent on economic systems (I couldn't, I'm nowhere near an expert on that). And then we risk going off topic.
Perhaps ways to limit this behavior, or protect against it. I dunno. But this guy is already in jail. Doesn't look like that was much of a deterrent. And indeed, I'm delighted by the fact he's paired with a murderer. Broad white collar crime can have a more depressive effect on the economy and lead to suicides, other murders and crimes like theft or further fraud, and is far more damaging - broadly speaking of course - than one murder. So white collar crime should be far more penalized than it currently is. Socially as well. It doesn't have much stigma. Certainly not as much as holding up a liquor store, which is really peanuts in contrast to the social damage done (immediacy aside of course).
That's just general musing.

But, so as far as capitalism goes and as far as it concerns this guy - there really isn't much to say in the abstract, apart from wishing the horse that bore him some ill will.
posted by Smedleyman at 1:17 PM on November 27, 2009


Optimus Chyme: including bankrupting and killing innocent people.
nobody is innocent, you righteous prick.

because his dimwit 19 year-old son barged into a meeting
like you would have done anything different if it had been your father accused of basically anything, you righteous prick.

ritchie: I used to work for a big law firm, in a support area. The thing that used to leave me breathless every time was the fact that the firm charged $250-odd per hour, billed in 6-minute increments regardless of who did the work. And quite often, the person doing the work was just some lowly student or, even worse, me.
sounds like fraud. what did you do about it?

twirlypen: That is very far from obvious.
he means it's obvious because he gave the interview with the expressed instruction for it not to be used until after sentencing. so he had nothing to gain from it. if he weren't, he wouldn't be doing the interview. perhaps you missed that part.

five fresh fish: It seems to me there should be a whole lot more anger given how the superultrawealthy have completely fucked you over.
not just the superwealthy. all the hippies and baby boomers basically adopted fucking the following generations over as their mantra once they hit thirty. so if you're of that generation rest assured of my hate.
posted by krautland at 7:26 PM on November 27, 2009


nobody is innocent, you righteous prick.

They're innocent in the context of Dreier's fraud. By your logic, any murder victim who had committed a crime or even had some small moral failing would have had it coming.

like you would have done anything different if it had been your father accused of basically anything, you righteous prick.

This is incorrect. If my father committed wide-spread fraud and ruined the careers of his employees, I would not interrupt a meeting at which I had no business and try to rally them to his defense.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 8:31 PM on November 27, 2009 [1 favorite]


krautland, there's no need for that.

Someone's not a righteous prick for believing people are innocent. Overcharging isn't necessarily fraud. Someone being a member of an entire generation is no basis for hating them.

As for how obvious his regret is, delaying the interview doesn't prove much at all. If I'd read that and been a juror, I would have been more inclined to judge him harshly, so delaying publication may have been good for him. Regardless, his regret is far from obvious, given the information we have. He had many opportunities to stop, but never took them. Perhaps he truly is remorseful, but it's certainly not obvious from the interview.
posted by twirlypen at 11:55 PM on November 27, 2009


sounds like fraud. what did you do about it?

Nothing. Massive, wealthy law firms scare the fuck out of me. No way am I blowing the whistle. I'm a rank coward. All I did was resign, and make a note to myself not to work in the legal industry again.
posted by Ritchie at 4:16 PM on November 29, 2009 [1 favorite]


five fresh fish It takes a village to raise a child, aeschenkarnos. Maybe the family is guilty by association because they didn't rein in their sociopathic greedhead.

Maybe so (probably so), in which case, let them be investigated, charged and prosecuted according to their personal and individual crimes. I just have a thing against guilt by association.
posted by aeschenkarnos at 8:53 PM on November 29, 2009


[few comments removed - I understand that you are angry. you may need to go to MetaTalk. days are getting shorter, as is my patience with people who think the guidelines somehow don't apply to them. thanks.]
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 4:10 PM on December 7, 2009


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