Reflection Paper on Modern Day Villains
A villain can be seen as many different things to people around the world. Everyone has his or her own thoughts to what exactly makes a person a villain. To me, a villain is someone who has little to no conscious thoughts about how his or her actions affect a person or group of people. Villains can hurt anyone significantly, whether they know them on a personal level or not, and feel no remorse. They do not care about laws, moral codes, or the fact that what they do can put them in federal prison for the rest of their life, and will do whatever it takes to get what they want; which is almost always money and power.
I believe these are the biggest ways to tell a villain from a hero because a decent human being could not force such terrible things on innocent people, and continue to live his or her life as if they had done no wrong doings. Even though in today’s society many have blurred the lines between right and wrong because almost everyone wants money and/or power, you can still tell when someone is a true hero or villain. One man stands out as a true villain in modern time. One of the best examples of a modern day villain to me is Bernard Madoff. Bernard Madoff was born on April 29,1938 in New York City, New York.
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He was born to parents who were never really successful financially. After graduating High school in 1956, Bernard went to the University of Alabama. After only a year at the university, he transferred to Hofstra University. At this university he received his Bachelor’s degree in political science. In 1959 he married his long time high school sweetheart, Ruth, who worked in the stock market in Manhattan. Bernard went for a short time to Brooklyn Law School, but quit to open his own investment firm. With his wife, they opened the firm using only five thousand dollars he had earned from small side jobs.
They named the company Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities, LLC. With the help of his father-in-law, a retired C. P. A, the business boomed. Many famous people were clients of Madoff, including Steven Spielberg and many other high profile individuals. As Madoff continued to become more and more famous for being a trustworthy investor, the firm grew rapidly. Soon the company began using computers to develop stock quotes. The firm helped develop and test the computer program; which became the National Association of Securities Dealers Automated Quotations, or NASDAQ. Many of Madoff’s family soon joined the investment firm.
In 1970 his brother, Peter, came to work alongside Madoff as the chief compliance officer for the business. Also when his sons were old enough, they came to work for the firm as traders. Everything seemed to be going great for Madoff and his investment firm, until his arrest on December 10, 2008. It all came apart when Madoff’s sons reported him to federal authorities, when he informed them that they would be giving out millions in bonuses months before they were scheduled. His sons demanded that he tell them where the money had come from, and Madoff finally told them that the firm was a very complex Ponzi scheme.
Bernard Madoff admitted to the authorities that he had stolen and lost nearly fifty billion dollars in investors’ money. Madoff was charged and pled guilty to eleven felony counts of fraud including: security fraud, mail fraud, wire fraud, investment adviser fraud, perjury, and false filing. The authorities have yet to figure exactly how much money Madoff stole from investors, but it was reported that nearly one hundred and seventy billion dollars went through his firm throughout the years and sixty-five billion dollars were within the firm before his arrest.
Madoff was arrested and kept in prison until his hearing on June 29, 2009, when he was sentenced one hundred and fifty years in federal prison. His sentence was the maximum sentence that could be sentenced to a seventy-one year old. Even though the crimes Madoff committed did not kill or physically harm anyone, the amount of damage he did to his “victims” was just as harmful. Bernard Madoff ruined many people’s lives and stole significant amounts of innocent people’s money.
People who had worked all of their lives to try to make it in life financially now had no idea what to do. Most lost everything they had ever earned; because they had trusted it to someone who was suppose to be there to benefit them. Bernard Madoff is the perfect example of a modern day villain because no honest individual who had any care at all in his or her body could ever do such a terrible thing to people who trusted them. Stealing someone’s hard earned money and leaving him or her with absolutely nothing to live on is something no one can justify in any way.
This makes a modern day villain because it shows that someone doesn’t have to murder or break anything to ruin someone’s life. Madoff took his once well-trusted firm, and turned it into a prime example to always watch where you trust your money and to whom you trust it with. Madoff was not even remorseful when he was convicted for all the money he stole and lost from his clients’ accounts. Someone with no guilt of his or her wrongdoing can in no way be a hero. Madoff let his obsession with money and power get the best of him, and in return he got exactly what he deserved.
With all the harm and destruction Bernard Madoff brought to so many he came in contact with through his firm, the world can learn from this devastating situation. We all have learned that no one can be fully trusted and to constantly watch over your valuables. Madoff’s victims were oblivious to the millions he was stealing right out from under them all. The world is a much better place with Bernard Madoff behind bars. The people who lost everything can slowly get their lives back on track. I believe Madoff deserves much worse than just being imprisoned.
He brought so much pain to so many, and he should be treated much worse than he is getting treated at the prison he is in. Hopefully this event has warned future villains, who plan to do the same thing that Bernard Madoff was doing to his clients, that they will eventually be caught and maybe this will prevent some from ever attempting to do such a terrible crime. Citation 1. ” Bernard Madoff. ” 2012. Biography. com 28 Feb 2012, 08:50 http://www. biography. com/people/bernard-madoff-466366