The Internet Giveth and the Internet Taketh

I would assume that Gian Paul, our Brazil bureau chief, would have better things to look at down in Brazil than the stats on Astrology Mundo. But perhaps it isn’t bathing suit season right now.

In any event, Gian Paul has correctly observed that about 12,000 of my “hits” have disappeared from the site meter. I was getting pretty excited about hitting 150,000, but now it appears that will take a little longer than I expected.

Who knows? Maybe I’ll go back up to 148,000 and change after Mercury goes direct. I don’t have the energy to complain to WordPress about this, that’s for sure.

Thanks, as always, Gian Paul, for your observations.

The View from Brazil: The Day Gian Paul Met Bernie Madoff

By now, you would have to be living off the grid to not know that Bernard L. Madoff, former chairman of the NASDAQ Stock Market, has been accused of perpetrating the biggest financial fraud of all time — a Ponzi scheme that involved $50 billion. Yes, that’s billion, folks.

Fortunately for Astrology Mundo, our intrepid Brazil bureau chief, Gian Paul, has filed a report about the day he met the man in question. As you’ll see, there’s a bit of a Saturn-return angle to the story. Over to you, Gian Paul:

Now that the papers are full of Bernard Madoff’s story, with the various financial collapses occurring like dominoes, I recall that I met the man in mid-October 1979. Then, Saturn was at the same position where it is today, 21 degrees, 30 minutes of Virgo.

If I remember, it’s because of two things: My then-boss had no time, so he asked me to take care of Madoff, who was visiting Switzerland, and even to take him out for lunch.

As I already had invited a friend for lunch, I had to combine the two. My friend Salim is an Iraqi Jew and a shrewd investor, so I thought that the two would get along.

And it turned out, it was a good lunch. Everybody enjoyed it. Bernard Madoff was a very affable man indeed.

Only, after Madoff left, my friend remarked that Maddox (that’s how he had understood his name) may be a “wolf hiding in sheep’s clothing.”

In jest, I remember having replied: “Maybe he is a ‘Mad Ox.'” After all, it was kind of nuts to try to sell over-the-counter stocks to Swiss institutions in those more conservative days. This was before premier high-tech companies such as Google chose to list on NASDAQ instead of the New York Stock Exchange.

Looking through the ephemeris, I guess that I must have met Madoff on Oct. 16 or 17, 1979. Question: After what has happened to him, why did the “Mad Ox” not join friends in similar circumstances in Monte Carlo, the haven for the rich who have run afoul of the law? It makes me think that after all he is not totally dishonest, maybe slightly mad…

Thanks, Gian Paul. As always, I appreciate your sense of humor and word play. Now, does anyone in the blogosphere have Madoff’s birth data?