Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Tiger at Turnberry

How good does a man have to be to have his failures become a leading news story? This past week, Tiger Woods failed to make the cut at the Open Golf Championship at the Turnberry golf club in Scotland. Despite Tom Watson’s valiant effort and near victory at age 59, the top story of this year’s British Open (as we refer to it here in the US) was Wood’s failure to make it to the weekend. He has made 231 cuts in the 246 events he has entered. (www.sports.espn.go.com/golf/britishopen09/news/story?id=4337152)

I’m always aware of the privilege it is to be able to watch Tiger at work. It may be as close as one gets to watching perfection, not unlike, I imagine, what it must have been like to watch Michelangelo paint. To borrow a line from Oscar Levant, Tiger Woods “is a character who, if he did not exist, could not be imagined.”

By Sam DelPresto

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Slow Wheels of Justice

            On the day that Bernard Madoff began serving his 150 year jail term for what seems to be the largest Ponzi scheme in history, his accountant, David Friehling has apparently reached a plea bargain. Friehling was arrested for securities fraud in March. He allegedly deceived investors by falsely certifying that he had audited the financial statements of Madoff’s firms. www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601103&sid=abvkjyD0jU8w

            Perhaps finally his plea will open the flood gates to long-anticipated additional criminal charges against others. It has become a game of sorts in the financial world to try to guess the minimum number of people who had to know that something was amiss. Just to generate the monthly paperwork would have required a small army of people.  Someone, somewhere must have asked “Where are these numbers coming from?”  Actually, many “someones” must have asked that question every day of their lives.

            The upcoming unraveling of this impressively massive scheme will be certain to entertain right up to football season. I admit to a fascination that borders on awe of the enormity of the fraud. I’ve got my popcorn on hand and I’m ready to watch. “Go, team go.”

By Sam DelPresto