The trip this past weekend to New York City exposed
me to new perspectives regarding the financial crisis, and spurred me to
examine my own educational and career aspirations, and which aspects of my life
I intend to keep priority over professional goals.

But first I’d like to recall 2 facts from Sunday
that I found particularly interesting: According to the Immigration Museum, 1/3
of the immigrants who came to the United States between 1900 and 1999 returned
at some point to continue their permanent residence in their country of origin.

number 2: tens of thousands of bodies lie underneath Washington Square Park as
a result of the Yellow Fever epidemics of the early 1800s.

to me, the most interesting part of the trip was Brian Ross’ talk on Bernie
Madoff. In addition to illustrating and communicating the intricacies of the
scheme, he revealed a new face to a man I had written off as simply corrupt and
greedy: the sociopath.

always thought that criminals at least acknowledged their own corrupt behavior,
event if they don’t actually feel remorse for their actions. I wonder how many
more Americans fit into the same category, and how much does it take to justify
the disregard of civil law and universal morality? I believe in Madoff’s case
it was only a an initial few weeks of guilt before his dishonesty was
overshadowed by his success.

do we prevent this type of deceit in the future? A true sociopath won’t admit
his own guilt (because, by definition he does not acknowledge it even to
himself), so the responsibility is ours as individuals we need to evaluate the
people we are doing business with, and to investigate transactions that appear
off-color (like statements of gains made on the 4th of July).


you to everyone who made this trip possible!


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