American Greed Monday

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Monday is American Greed day on CNBC.  It borders on obsession to watch the videos.  There are so many.

It helps to turn on the computer and let it go for a few hours.

I already had the video when I downloaded Season 12.  It helps to follow it if it is live TV.

There are a lot of similarities in the stories.  Many are about health care–oxycontin, hospice, addiction treatment, and medicare and medicaid fraud.  A lot are about financial fraud, like Madoff and Allen Stanford, both selling and buying it.  Some of the criminals are in their twenties or even teens and they have never accomplished or experienced anything else.  And some are older and they have done it in varying degrees for their whole lives.  Almost always there are outward signs of ostentation.

Usually the main characters are con artists–people who gain the trust of others and then abuse it.  They do not change.  They do not understand, or rather, they likely view it as the way of the world and it is worth it.  “Fun while it lasted,” may be the mantra.  That is the title of Bruce McNall’s memoir.

There has not been an American Greed episode on McNall.  But he was a crook from the get-go.  The coins and antiquities were swiped.

But the best thing about the show and stories like those it tells are the real people involved.  Sometimes they are stupid, sometimes they are not, and always they are real.  They give great interviews and they say wise things.  The whisleblowers especially are great.

Alan Hruby was the star this week when Season 12 Episode 7 appeared in almost-prime time.  Dalia is a great story.  Then there are the big names in financial fraud, Madoff and such.  MORE


And after two years they have arrested the Wagner family.  “It’s the most bizarre story I’ve ever seen,” DeWine said. “It’s just amazing.”

Most of the story is still missing but custody makes sense:  kill everyone who could become a parent.  And as I read more it becomes apparent that is not really about being a parent, it is about “obsessiveness” and “control.”  It seems to be ‘if I can’t get to the kid now I will lose my chance.’  They, or he or she, is going to mold him or her into something (someone) who is against me.  It is narcissistic; it is also irrational.  The child will eventually decide for themselves.  It is not good parenting if you do not let the child become their own person.  The other parent’s influence will be temporary.  The whole custody fight is a temporary thing.

peoples defender

Another thing that makes sense is all the planning that went into it.

Funny how the police and governor-elect DeWine come out smelling.  It appears unnecessary to take, transport, and store the mobile homes.  213 law enforcement employees at the scene.  Where was law enforcement in terms of the illegal grow operation?  Why on earth couldn’t they build a case against the Wagners sooner?  The whole thing has been likened to a gang or mob execution.  The planning–professional criminals–seems consistent.  DeWine is pulling out all the stops with the expenses, staff, and charges.  There have been lots of search warrants.  Everything that can be charged is.  Death penalty trials and appeals will go on for years.