The New York Mets ownership group is trying to sell 25 percent of the team because they are being sued by the attack-dog lawyer representing the victims of Bernie Madoff. The lawyer, Irving Picard, claims that the hedge fund operators who own the Mets realized huge “profits” from Madoff and should have known he was running a Ponzi scheme.
This brings up an idea I have been thinking about for a long time, the “fiction of money.”
In our Graff-Pinkert & Co. machinery business we are often asked to do appraisals of machinery, usually for financial institutions or consultants. We had a call recently from a consulting firm who wanted prices on a group of National Acmes. “Make the prices on the high end,” he requested. We said we would give him information for a fee. “Oh, I didn’t plan to pay for information,” he said. Real pulp fiction writer.
But so much of what masquerades as fact is bogus when it comes to money.
What happened to the trillions of dollars lost in the real estate meltdown of the past few years? The value of the mortgages and bricks were a fiction that evaporated in a few months.