“Fraudulent Conveyance” Aligns the Ponzi with the Ponz-ee

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“Fraudulent Conveyance” Aligns the Ponzi with the Ponz-ee

In the wake of the Madoff scandal, some people have discussed how “fraudulent conveyance” could be a major issue. The doctrine of fraudulent conveyance basically holds that after a fraud, someone who benefited should give up some (or all) of their benefits to those who were wronged, even if they had no idea what was going on. It’s a usful doctrine in a lot of cases — if Madoff, for example, had given his sons tens of millions of dollars but left others high and dry, it wouldn’t be a great plan to let them keep the money.

But what people don’t often mention is the big problem with fraudulent conveyance: it encourages people to look the other… Read more…

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Is a Post-Madoff Stimulus Really More Madoff?

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Is a Post-Madoff Stimulus Really More Madoff?

When Bernie Madoff made every scammer in history look like an amateur with his $50 billion haul, I’m not sure how many people wondered what positive effects he might have had.

But think about the argument for a stimulus program: let’s say we give Taxpayer A $1,000 right now, and saddle him with another $1,500 in higher taxes down the road. The $1,000 makes him feel richer, so he spends it — the $1,500 is a problem, but not just yet (and it’s a problem for a more robust, post-stimulus economy). The stimulus even works if it’s a different taxpayer: if taxpayer A gets the check and taxpayer B pays the consequences, B doesn’t spend less until the… Read more…

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