Wednesday, December 17, 2008

What's in a name?

With apologies to Mr. Shakespeare, plenty is in a name when it comes to branding. We wouldn't be apt to buy a car called 'Rattle-trap.' And whereas "Olds" as in Oldsmobile might have been ok once (and eponymous) in today's youth culture, you don't keep a producing a product with that name. (I'm not claiming that's why there's no more Oldsmobile, but it sure didn't help.)

OK, let's cut ahead to the great 2008 Ponzi scheme perpetrated by Bernard Madoff and those avaricious enough to believe in him. The man's name is pronounced "MADE OFF" as in "Bernie made off with your entire family fortune."

Greed blinded people. Obscured whatever would generally pass for common sense.

Listen, would you invest with someone called Ponzi today, no matter how manicured and secure he seemed? Would you go to a Harvard lawyer named Shyster? Would you by a steak from "Mad Cow Butchers"? So why an investment counselor called Madoff?

Blatant, unmitigated greed. Oh, and dumb-osity.

No comments: