By Stan Silliman
Mets Mixed In Madoff Mess: What's In A Name
Madoff came to town
That’s what these guys do. When they stick things in their hat, proverbial or otherwise, they always call it by a pasta name.
Now, the Mets are in this murky Madoff mire. The attorney for Madoff creditors are suing the owners of the New York Mets—Fred Wilpon, Jeff Wilpon, and Saul Katz—and the parent company of the Mets, Sterling Equities.
Let’s back up and restate. The trustee, Irving Picard, for the Madoff victims (aka pigeons, scammees, and shmoos) sued Sterling Equities, trying to claw back money under the belief that Sterling received money from Madoff improperly.
In baseball terms, it's like when someone hits a home run and rounds third to see his teammates ready to greet him at home plate when the ump starts shouting something about the batter not stepping on second base. In other words, some victims may have fared better than others, with the ones left holding the bag looking around to see another guy with a not-so-empty bag.
What I can’t figure out is why people were so trusting of this Madoff guy anyway. Just like my jingle at the top of the page, didn’t his name give you a clue? Someday he might have “made off” with your funds? Could he have been more obvious? How about “Charles Ponzi, Jr. Investments. We pay high interest.” All I’m saying is that the surname might give you a foreshadowing, if I’m to believe my own theories.
Want a few examples? Let’s go back to
some of the Ponzi schemes and see who we find.
When the Greater Ministries of Tampa bilked 18,000 people out of $500 million, who was in charge? Who put all these people in a world of hurt? Who made them feel like they were agony? Gerald Payne, that’s who.
When a pyramid scheme crashed down on the citizens of Albania to the tune of $1.2 billion in the mid-90s, who was in charge? Who perpetuated such a fraud? Enver Hoxha! If ever you might have suspected…just a smidgen…something might be a hoax…duh!
In Costa Rica, The Brothers defrauded 6300 people out of a half-billion dollars. Again, nobody was the least suspicious even though they knew The Brothers consisted of Luis and Osvaldo Villalobos. If it’s good enough for Little Red Riding Hood, why not go right into the wolf’s home?
All this leads to my ongoing theory: names count. What you’re tagged with might possibly foreshadow an occupation or a tendency, says a guy typing up a silly story with the name Stan Silliman.
I started building this theory when I was introduced to two Oklahoma City businessmen, the Fail brothers—Never and Will. Serious as a heart attack and in his late 60's, Never Fail was into real estate and every apartment complex he developed thrived. Will Fail tried business after business after business…to a point he couldn’t even get a bank loan.
I continued to study these circumstances and even took note when I started performing comedy in a trendy new nightlife hotspot called Bricktown. The club was called Comedy Corner and owned by a lady named Shirley Bynum. It was near the first karaoke bar in Oklahoma City, with a book binding business behind it and the first micro-brewery in town—The Bricktown Brewery—down the block.
I wanted to double check my theory but here’s the odd thing: the business owner/name tie-in existed but it was like one business off. The names were there in a sound-alike or slightly punned fashion, but they were tied to the wrong enterprises.
For instance, you remember Shirley Bynum? Well, her name had little to do with a comedy club. But her name, slightly punned, became Bind’em—which fit well with a book binding company.
But the owner of the book binding company
was named Singer, which would have been a great name if you owned a
karaoke bar. But the owner of the karaoke was named Brewer.
You see, perfect name to own the Bricktown Brewery. However, the owner of the Bricktown Brewery was named Jester. Did I mention the Comedy Club?
In some mysterious way, my theory still
works but maybe a Fringe-type alternate universe sprang up when they
started converting old haunted warehouses into bistros and yuppie
How does this affect the Mets, you’re asking? Really? I lay out this semi-elegant theory and you’re still worried about the Mets? Here's the answer: depending on the clawback, the Mets will still be viable. Mets Limited Partnership invested $523 million with Madoff and received $568 million in return. If they lose their profit or more depends on many factors, including timing and perceived favoritism.
Will the Mets come out smelling like their
brand new Citi Field ballpark? After all, Sterling Equities has a
reputation to uphold. They boast about it. Some might call
their reputation…er… sorry…the word escapes me.
2405 Wilcox Drive
Norman, OK 73069