Spams and Scams

gleefully reports that the US attorneys’ office mistook a classic Nigerian
spam for a letter from a distressed Madoff investor in its
submission to Madoff’s sentencing judge.

It is funny, but reading through the whole document, with the
several hundred possibly real letters and emails isn’t funny at
all. The spam was probably just a slip of a finger — easy to do
if you’re moving hundreds of emails into one document. But all
those people who want to encourage the judge to lock Madoff up and
throw away the key, and especially the ones who want sympathy for
having lost their entire life’s savings, are really sad.

I’m not saying he shouldn’t be locked up — obviously one of the
things someone should be working on is finding all the money,
which will be easier if he doesn’t have unrestricted communication
with the people who can help him hide it. And I’m not saying I
don’t sympathize with the people who are really mad and spending
some of their mental energy inventing suitable punishments for

But I really have very little sympathy for the people who
invested all their money in one place and have lost it all. You
don’t need a degree in high finance to have heard the proverbs
about putting all your eggs in one basket.

And while I understand the people wanting to invent the
punishments, I really don’t understand either the original person
or the US attorney wanting that kind of fantasy life to be part of
the public record.

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