The New York Mets $162 Million Strike Out and Lessons Learned
Ron DeLegge, Editor
March 19, 2012
How many All-Star free agents could $162 million have bought the New York Mets? Unfortunately, Mets fans will never know because the money will be used to settle a lawsuit between Irving Picard and Mets owners Fred Wilpon and Saul Katz.
Picard, the trustee for victims of Bernard Madoff’s multibillion scheme, alleged that Mets owners profited from Madoff’s scam despite the very obvious signs Madoff’s investment returns were false.
Here’s a few lessons we learn from the $162 million whiff by Mets owners:
1) The “smart money” is pretty dumb. While it’s true the “smart money” like Wilpon and Katz may have avoided the dotcom and housing crash, it was only because they were fully invested in Madoff’s fictitious investment scam.
2) Irving Picard is a dislikeable man. Picard and his legal wrecking machine is not just a formidable bunch, but they are arguably the most hated people on Wall Street, aside from everyone else that’s hated on Wall Street. Thus far, Pic’s team has recovered $9.1 billion, which might be enough to purchase the National League’s entire Eastern Division. Pic’ makes Eliot Spitzer and Lloyd Blankfein look like likeable characters.
3) There’s still a bull market in lawsuits and the attorneys on both sides are getting rich. Mets owners settled for $162 million, but how much did their legal counsel vacuum in before reaching it? No matter how much Mets legal advisors try to spin the settlement into a positive thing, it’s a very long way – probably light-years – from the owners’ original goal of winning.
4) People who put money with Madoff were gamblers and now they're victims. Although people who put money into Madoff's fantastic booby trap are many times referred to as "investors" they never were. And if we do call them "investors" that means we need to call casino rats "investors."
5) In retrospect, Bernard Madoff’s multibillion investment scam was really a “Madoff Scheme” and not a “Ponzi Scheme.” Memo to the media: Get your story straight and stop slandering a dead man.