Friday, March 27, 2009


A sign of the times?

Former tennis champion John McEnroe was duped along with investment firms, art dealers and the Bank of America in a sophisticated $88 million art investment scam revealed in New York on Thursday.

Art dealer Lawrence Salander, 59, was arrested at his New York home on Thursday after he was indicted on 100 counts, including grand larceny and securities fraud, Manhattan District Attorney Robert Morgenthau told a news conference.

Victims of Salander's fraudulent scheme included McEnroe, who invested $2 million for a half share of two paintings, Arshile Gorky's "Pirate I and II," but never recouped the money, authorities said.

Morgenthau said Salander was an art dealer and the former owner of Salander-O'Reilly Galleries. The scheme, which lasted from 1994 to 2007, included luring investors who paid cash in exchange for shares of ownership of works of art.

"He sold artwork not owned by him and kept the money, and lured investment money in fraudulent investment opportunities," Morgenthau said.


Beth said...

Well, that sucks.

Graf_sampras said...

well...Craighickman...since this is something "economics, politics, social, history" etc...i'll GRAB the chance to infuse with my favorite subject...all of the above...hehe..i hope you won't mind:

warning, probably much of what I will put in are not to everyone's especially IF you are american , LIKING...

here is one that speaks to the TRUE nature of the USA...

beyond all talk about "change" or "finding our best"....

"AMERICAN FOREIGN POLICY HAS always been geared towards gathering as much of the world's resources unto ourselves -- at the expense of other peoples and nations..the TRUE purpose of our Military is to make the world safe for our Cultural and Economic ASSAULT...i was its Chief Enforcer for our Big Money, Big Finance, Big corporations and a system ALL in SERVICE of our BIG BOSS...our Supernationalistic Capitalism"....general smedley butler...US Marines General - 1933 speeches...

"WE americans understand very little that the reason we are living our lifestyles is not because we are so exceptional...but because it is only a PART of a VERY , VERY VICIOUS system of empire that Exploits, Enslaves and Misuses people everywhere..and i was part for 30 years of building that Empire project".......John Perkins...former CIA "economic hitman"...CONFESSIONS of an Economic Hitman

Graf_sampras said...

what everyone is seeing :

the collapse of the financial "markets" rooted in the USA - the unimaginable depth and breadth of corruption..the spreading wealth gap, the implosion of the health "care", the denigration of human value, the WARS of exploitations and resources extraction masquerading as "democracy" are ALL a result of "OUR Supernationalistic capitalism" (General Smedley Butler)...

the one of Mecnroe losing "investments?"

that is a MERE symptom of the DISEASE that IS the USA Capitalist "market economy" hubris.

people don't believe me -- or wish to sit back and "wait for the recovery?"

it AIN't GONNA HAPPEN because the ONLY alternative is for the USA , to quote patrick buchanan:

"WE have to GET OUT of this business of EMPIRE...and get out of those lands before they KICK US OUT...for it is going to be our undoing"

this is ALL related to the USA's ignoring what Dr Martin Luther King, Jr implored his country to take to heart as a warning:


but it seems the USA , including its leadership, then and now -- are TONE-DEAF.

and that is the road to RUIN, from within and without.

it is happening, including the "printing of wealth" by FIAT dollar in the TRILLIONS out of THIN AIR representing NO real wealth that will lead to the dollar collapse -- which dollar IS the ONLY thing propping up "american lifestyle" and power -

JUST as it happened with ancient Rome.

overextension, and Hubris.

and as the Ancient Greeks said:

"HUBRIS always meets with NEMESIS".
and the NEMESIS of the USA is ITS own Hubris -- its own "overweaning arrogance".

arrogance at the "perfection" of its "system" that it tries to FORCE unto others..but comes back in blowbacks and inner ROT.

Obama , unfortunately, ISN"T going to save the USA from COLLAPSE.

it is only a matter of time. if americans care to watch..they only need to look at how other countries are ALREADY making their MOVES , in preparation in order to protect themselves from coming tremors of that collapse.

as of yesterday CHINA , since last week, has been "suggesting" that "we are WORRIED that the USA can HONOR its DEBTS and protect our Holdings of its debt"....

and let out a "leak" that "perhaps it is time to have a new world currency".........

Graf_sampras said...

"this nation shall fall...not because of foreign enemies or threats, real or shall fall because the People are Corrupt"...

Benjamin Franklin

"the Loss of Liberties at home are to be charged to the waging of foreign wars for the sake of 'security'..they come hand in hand..and liberties shall disappear through the banner of securing the safety of the people"


"My fellow americans. let me warn you , as i leave the presidency, to BEWARE of the Undue influence of the Industrial, Corporate Congressional Complex for it shall surely lead to the loss of our nation and republic...and we shall surely bankrupt ourselves in the quest for absolute security"......

President Dwight Eisenhower

" can say that I was really our Big Money's, Big Corporations' Chief Racketeer leading their Big Muscle, our US Military ...we are really a Nation of Racketeers...And I was its Chief Enforcer".

General Smedley Butler, 1933....

as TRUE today as it ever was.

only today -- they have enforcers like "general David Petraeus" - soon to be "president general" petreaus" .....

"America shall one day become a FASCIST nation..only they'll keep calling it a democracy"....Texas Congressman Huey Long. 1962

"Fascism should more properly be called Corporatism..for it is the Marriage between the Powers and institutions of the STATE with the Private Corporations, using Patriotism as the flag bearer"...

Benito Mussolini - credited with defining what fascism is.

Graf_sampras said...

and since i'm at it -- the Title Craighickman wisely put "SCAMMED?"

is APPROPRIATE for what is revealed as the generality of the american system of "economics" .

a SCAM .. and a monumental FRAUD posing as "free market" and "the road to freedom and prosperity"

only it NEVER talks about FOR WHOM in REALITY.

people want more proof? how about the HEALTH CARE SCAM that is the US "best in the world medical care"?

good if you can AFFORD it.?

Lower costs lure U.S. patients abroad for treatment

* Story Highlights
* Study: More than 6 million from U.S. will travel abroad for treatment in the next year
* Companies creating a niche in the service industry as medical travel planners
* Hospitals market upscale accommodations, Western-trained surgeons
* Next Article in Health »

NEW DELHI, India (CNN) -- "I was a walking time bomb. I knew I had to get on that plane if I wanted to be around to see my grandkids."
A couple of days after her heart surgery, Sandra Giustina and her husband, Dino, visited the Taj Mahal.

Sandra Giustina is rolled into surgery to correct her atrial fibrillation at Max Hospital in New Dehli, India.

Sandra Giustina is a 61-year-old uninsured American. For three years she saved her money in hopes of affording heart surgery to correct her atrial fibrillation. "They [U.S. hospitals] told me it would be about $175,000, and there was just no way could I come up with that," Giustina said.

So, with a little digging online, she found several high quality hospitals vying for her business, at a fraction of the U.S. cost. Within a month, she was on a plane from her home in Las Vegas, Nevada, to New Delhi, India. Surgeons at Max Hospital fixed her heart for "under $10,000 total, including travel."

Giustina is just one of millions around the world journeying outside their native land for medical treatment, a phenomenon known as "medical tourism." Experts say the trend in global health care has just begun. Next year alone, an estimated 6 million Americans will travel abroad for surgery, according to a 2008 Deloitte study. "Medical care in countries such as India, Thailand and Singapore can cost as little as 10 percent of the cost of comparable care in the United States," the report found.

Companies such as Los Angeles-based Planet Hospital are creating a niche in the service industry as medical travel planners. One guidebook says that more than 200 have sprung up in the last few years. "We find the best possible surgeons and deliver their service to patients safely, affordably and immediately," said Rudy Rupak, president of Planet Hospital. "No one should have to choose between an operation to save their life or going bankrupt."

Planet Hospital, which works with international clients as well as Americans, books patients' travel and arranges phone interviews with potential surgeons. Patients are greeted by a company representative at the airport in the country where they've chosen to be treated; a 24-hour personal "patient concierge" is also provided, a level of service that's standard among many of the top medical travel planning companies. Video Watch Dr. Sanjay Gupta meet some medical tourists »

"Our patient concierge was amazing," said Giustina. "He came to the hospital every day, gave us his personal [telephone] number and after my operation, he arranged private tours of India." Just two days post-op, Giustina and her husband, Dino, toured local markets and landmarks including the Presidential Palace and the Taj Mahal.
Don't Miss

* Consumer Tips Blog: Stay healthy while traveling

"I was able to fix my heart and tour India, which is something I thought I'd never do."

Walk through a patient wing at Max Hospital in New Delhi on any given day and you're likely to see people from around the world. In one visit, CNN met patients from the United Kingdom, Nigeria, Jordan, Afghanistan and the United States. They're alike in choosing surgery abroad, but their reasons differ.

Many South Asians and Africans said they travel abroad because they do not have access to care in their homeland.

Some Canadians and Europeans said they chose to travel aboard, despite having national health plans, because they are tired of waiting -- sometimes years -- for treatment.

Patients from the Middle East said they come to India because the technology as well as the staff is more advanced.

For most Americans CNN spoke to, it came down to finding the best value. "If I could have afforded my procedure in the United States, I would have taken it, but that was not my option," Giustina said. "I had to get online and look for a Plan B." Read about hot destinations for medical tourism

The private hospitals in India market themselves as having upscale accommodations, Western-trained surgeons and state-of-the-art medical equipment.

CNN spent time at Max Healthcare in New Delhi and saw operating rooms similar to those in many U.S. hospitals. If fact, Max's neurosurgery room had an inter-operative MRI scanner, which is technology hardly seen at hospitals in the United States.

The lobby had marble floors, a book café, coffee station and a Subway sandwich shop. The patient suites were equipped with flat screen TVs, DVD players and Wi-Fi. This hospital also catered to families traveling together. The suites had adjoining rooms with a kitchenette, coffee maker and a sofa bed.

Max neurosurgeon Dr. Ajaya Jha said the hospital can provide high-quality care at low prices because the staff work hard to cut waste. Video Watch Dr. Gupta visit an Indian spice market »

"I've seen hospitals in the U.S. where they open up something costing $10,000 and say, 'Oh it's not working. OK, give me another one.' We would never do that here. Even for 100 rupees (about $2) -- we would say, "Do we need to open this suture? Do we need to open this gauze?' We are very conscious of cost."

Hospital officials negotiate hard to keep costs low for high-tech medical machinery and other supplies, Jha said. "In the U.S. people are making careers out of carrying laptops and documenting things that are not really useful in the long term for the patient."

The salary of a U.S. surgeon is five times that of a surgeon in India. "We [surgeons in India] want to make a profit, but we don't want to profiteer. We don't want squeeze people and I think American industries should also think that way," Jha said.

Critics of medical tourism warn patients to be diligent when researching treatment aboard. "I've found that industry voices tend to crowd out those of us who are more cautious about the legal risks," said Nathan Cortez, assistant law professor at Southern Methodist University, who is conducting a case study investigating what legal recourse patients have outside America.

Patients don't think about their legal vulnerabilities, Cortez said. "Some countries limit patient access to medical records so they can't really learn what happened during the surgery. And a lot of practitioners in other countries just refuse to give you your medical records. So people have to weigh the risk versus benefits."
Health Library

* Health A-Z

While most tourism patients from America are uninsured, major U.S. insurance companies are considering providing "medical tourism" coverage to their customers. Several have already launched pilot programs.

"I think what's really important about medical tourism is that you make the choice for what's right for you and what's important to them," said a spokesman for U.S. health insurer WellPoint Inc.

Experts say that every patient considering traveling abroad for surgery should inquire about postoperative care, legal rights and the safety standards and certifications of the hospital. Foreign health care providers should be willing to discuss the procedure and answer question ahead of time.

"What really helped me feel good about the process was that my doctor in the U.S. spoke to the cardiologist in India prior to my trip," said Giustina. "They were so open about everything; I knew I'd be in good hands."

Just weeks from returning from abroad, Giustina says she has only one regret, "I shouldn't have waited so long! I feel like a new person again, no more pain."
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All About Surgery • Travel and Tourism

Graf_sampras said...

even the TRILLION DOLLARS "federal bailout" of "the economy" -=- which really means bailing out the "masters of the universe" of wall street that CREATED the Disasters -- is ITSELF a SCAM - to continue to prop up institutions that OUGHT to go the route of the DUSTBIN of history ..and THIS "US TREASURY" SCAM brained by ONE of the AUTHORS of the Disaster of Economics:

Mister TIM GEITHNER HIMSELF , Treasury Secretary,

is one day going to IMPLODE just like all the BUBBLES they created before...

but THIS time - a year or so from now - the one the will be the BUBBLE that BURST


just watch........

i've predicted so many of these things for at least ten years and EACH TIME was proven right!

and THAT will make the economic disasters today look like a PICNIC...and THEN maybe americans will wake up out of their complacencies and self-injected doldrums.....and DO something about having BEEN SCAMMED for generations! lol.


Craig Hickman said...

We have two masters: The Military Industrial Complex and the Wall Street Industrial Complex. Some would argue they are one and the same.

Alas, this administration cannot dismantle either, even if it wanted to.

If Obama manages to stay alive (by feeding the beasts above) let's see where we are at the end of his presidency.

It would be nice if we had an economy based on something more than cotton candy.

I still have hope...

Graf_sampras said...

every single day, Craighickman ..i HOPE -- and hope so dearly for Barack Obama. he has the goodwill of PEOPLE EVERYWHERE in the planet that wish for the USA to BEHAVE like a proper nation rather than a RAPACIOUS entity.

and I realize how he , even HE, is a "creature" of the military-industrial,corporate congressional complex or he would NEVER have been allowed to make his magnificent speech 4 years ago -- when , if you recall, i was so enthusiastic in bogledance's message board saying:

"THIS is a man that can be president and if he DARED - be a GREAT GREAT president".

but he MUST make choices and they must be CLEAR without compromise. the time for that is long past.

because NO MATTER how he tries to "save the balance" between the powers that created the disasters climaxing ever higher today or CHOOSES to BE the progressive that he can be....

the USA WILL STILL go through a GREAT amount of pain and along with it the rest of the world BECAUSE of US policies.

therefore - the time will come, i predict - that IF the USA , whether the leadership or the people, will NOT make the TRUE fundamental changes:

corporations MUST be controlled, and REDUCED in their power and PEOPLE must MAKE their politicians do it and get out of their complacencies....unless even THAT is too late for americans.......


the REST of the world WILL MAKE AMERICA do it.

already -- it is happening.

all one has to do is how, inspite of obama's "commitment" to "defeat and stop the taliban" -- his "surge" for this war is now HIS in a region the USA should NEVER have meddled in -- but which he has become a captive of (and who gets to be president next? PETREAUS -- the oncoming "CAESAR of CAESARS" of the modern "rome", lol) -

the taliban - BOTH IN PAKISTAN and AFGHANISTAN (for they have NO concerns about these artificial "nation borders" created by the west generations ago - it is IRRELEVANT to them as it has alwasy been for thousands of years with all empires falling over there : the "graveyard of empires") --

the taliban - more properly -- the NATIVES of the region --

WILL NEVER BOW to any foreign intruder seeking to tell them how to behave....

what is the USA going to do? Barack obama is going to STOP THEM with 17,000 more US soldiers? with drones? killing more civilians creating MORE hatred and even showing the COWARDICE that the USA has in going to war from the safety of washington , PUSH BUTTON missiles from the air?

the taliban are already READYING themselves , settling their regional differences to meet "OUR COMMON ENEMY -- the United States"

all at least 40 MILLION of them.

obama is going to STOP THEM?

he is in for a HELL of a ride that will DESTROY his presidency if it is not ALREADY destroyed. this has brought tears to my eyes almost on a daily basis, Craighickman...i tell you...

even right now, i am again crying as I type much opportunity for the RIGHT choices that everyone on earth NEEDS from such a presidency --


from wall street bail outs of the "wizards" who brought , at least for the last 30 years nothing but RUIN of people's lives everywhere --

to more WAR for "resources"

just because the USA CAN"T ABIDE by the morals and rules IT preaches to the rest of the world.

where people in europe are taking to the streets and DEFYING their governments - even if the distress there are really the result of AMERICAN policies that were adopted -

where GREEK students got the support of their elders in trashing in the streets and mayhem when greek police beat up greek students protesting globalization ....

where other people are protesting the "privatization" of our most NATURAL common inheritance from our Mother Earth -- WATER --

americans are sitting and eating "cake".........even as their own economy falls around them and RUINS THEIR VERY OWN LIVES and those that they love......

what kind of people are these?

I ache for obama to SURVIVE this and somehow - people will gather AROUND HIM if he DARES to TRULY take on the "powers that be"......

for out of that will be POWER GREATER than THEIRS -- the power of


and obama - endangered as he is if he attempts it - stands on the cusp of it....

but the danger GREATER than to himself -- is the danger of POWER that be CORRUPTING him...

which eventualy WILL have to be torn down by the PEOPLE themselves when THEY FINALLY WAKE UP

when the time comes that all these "bandaids" are going to prove FUTILE and people see themselves and their loves ones in even more dire straights and see that the land they love no more.

Graf_sampras said...

if anything - THIS is the time when americans should be waking up and SHOW IT - en masse.

because this is the time when CORPORATISM ITSELF has been EXPOSED as the monumental rapacious FRAUD that it is . and SHOULD be under the control of the People -- NOT the other way around.

it is -- in the end, in the hands of the american people.

this is their test for history....which Benjamin Franklin warned of:

"we are a republic madame........if you can keep it".

if they can't -- america , i predict WILL TEAR ITSELF APART. open to being FED UPON by other powers. and americans will only have themselves to blame.

mark my words.

Graf_sampras said...

actually obama can make MOVES - soon as possible:

it will be like "biting the bullet" - but done in full view of the public which NO "powers behind" will dare to stop or they face the FULL WRATH of the PUBLIC if they dare TOUCH Obama......believe it.

and that is as simple as this:

FIRE GEITHNER and SUMMERS -- who were ARCHITECTS of the economic debacle!

replace them with - at the very least Paul Krugman, or Paul Volcker.

NATIONALIZE the banks - WIPE OUT all private investors that played the game of chance - that's the PRICE they pay just like everyone else in a "free market" -

DARE the private insurance business to challenge him on universal one payer medical system. SOCIALIZE medicine just like the "veterans" and CONGRESS and Medicaire ALREADY are

just like the BIggest SOCIALIST entity on earth -- the US MILITARY IS!

and ADMIT that the USA really has had a upside down SOCIALIST SYSTEM

in order to TEACH AMERICANS that THEY were already PAYING for a SOCIALIST SYSTEM

that has been STOLEN from THEM By the rich!!

this is his moment - to say in no uncertain terms.

if he DOES -- he will DROWN OUT ALL OTHER VOICES to the contrary because this is what americans -- withouth UNDERSTANDING IT themselves

actually have ALWAYS WANTED or longed for --


he does that -- even those few "moves" -- he is UNTOUCHABLE, i tell you.

the US MILITARY and PENTAGON will BOW before him iN FEAR! and infear of the american people themselves and THAT is how things OUGHT to be.