Doug McIntyre at WallStreet 24/7 thinks certain financial websites might be giving too much coverage to the Bernie Madoff scandal. “Madoff does not matter. He never did,” McIntyre writes.
He goes on to explain that the reason everyone wants to read about Madoff is because it’s more fun than reading about how badly our economy is limping along:
A rough count would show that something like a quarter of the business coverage at most financial websites and in the financial sections of newspapers is devoted to the Bernie Madoff matter. The old man did walk off with what is said to be $50 billion of other people’s money. It is endlessly fascinating to figure out how it was done and why it went undetected for so long.
It would be difficult to find something more pleasurable that excoriating the public officials who did not catch on to Madoff’s activities even though a number of people questioned his methods long ago.
Looked at beside the overall problems in the economy here and overseas, the Madoff scandal will be nothing more than a footnote as time passes. Obviously, hundreds of people lost everything. Scores of institutions, including worthy charities, were shut down. In the meantime, the mad genius has been sending jewelry to relatives and hiding money in Swiss bank accounts.
The obsession with Madoff may be due to the fact that people want something to distract them from the daily horror of economic news.
But, to tell the truth, there’s not much an ordinary person can do to repair the economy. So perhaps getting distracted from the horror isn’t so bad.