Archive for May, 2010

Bernie Madoff claims another victim

May 28, 2010

Ghostwriters do more than simply make sure that the story gets written and that the grammar is right. If you want to see the value of a ghostwriter, read No One Would Listen by Harry Markopolos, the man who blew the whistle no one heard on Bernard Madoff’s $65 billion scandal. The book, which I reviewed in Asia Times, details how Markopolos uncovered the scandal and tried, yet failed, to expose it. The book reveals, above all, how thoroughly despicable Madoff and his conduct were.

Markopolos tells the story in his own words, animated by disgust for Madoff and the US Securities and Exchange Commission that ignored Markopolos’ repeated attempts to stop Madoff, and apparently without the aid of a ghostwriter. Markopolos, who is undoubtedly an honorable man and by all rights ought to be seen as a hero, is portrayed as such an unsympathetic figure, driven over the edge by the pursuit of Madoff, his white whale, that only Markopolos himself could have written it that way.

Totally globalized native New Yorker and former broadcast news producer Muhammad Cohen is author of Hong Kong On Air, a novel set in his adopted hometown during the 1997 handover about television news, love, betrayal, financial crisis, and cheap lingerie.

Casinos make bad bets in Asia

May 7, 2010

The world’s two most expensive casino resorts are now open in Singapore, whether the Lion City likes it or not. As I wrote in Asia Times, Singapore didn’t want casinos, just the theme park, convention center, museums and other attractions that it was able to squeeze out the developers in exchange for allowing the gambling dens. However, Singapore’s nanny state ways limit casino revenue. That promises trouble for developers Las Vegas Sands and Malaysia’s Genting Group that are investing a combined $10 billion in their resorts, and for Singapore, too.

Singapore isn’t the only Asian city where casino developers are placing bad bets. Billionaire Steve Wynn’s infatuation with China’s government and disdain for the Obama administration got another airing at last month’s debut of his Encore Macau property. Wynn’s plan to plunk down another couple billion dollars in Macau illustrates precisely why to be wary of Macau, especially if you’re Steve Wynn.

Totally globalized native New Yorker and former broadcast news producer Muhammad Cohen is author of Hong Kong On Air, a novel set in his adopted hometown during the 1997 handover about television news, love, betrayal, financial crisis, and cheap lingerie.


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 132 other followers

%d bloggers like this: