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A Few Kind Words for Marc Dreier
In a 60 Minutes segment now available only as a marketing teaser, Marc Dreier claimed that one of the reasons that he defrauded investors of $400 million is that he was going through a midlife crisis. 60 Minutes also interviewed several of his victims and those interviewed did not believe him and did not believe it excused his crimes. Of course, a midlife crisis does not excuse Mr. Dreier’s crimes. But for what it is worth, I believe him.
I have talked with several scores of men about their midlife crises and, as far as I can tell, no one has lied to me. Most men do not have a midlife crisis. Some men do and channel the energy into building business. Other men have affairs and buy foolish and unnecessary cars. I am old now, and my midlife crisis is long past, but it was a bad one. I could feel the urges and rages as they were coming on and they were evil and destructive. I decided I needed a plan and I decided I needed to tell my wife about it. I told her, “I’ve decided to write a novel.”
“We can make more money if you write another technical book.”
“Yea, you're right, but I’ve just started my midlife crisis and it’s either this or chase blondes.”
“So, what kind of novel are you going to write?”
As a business decision, my novel couldn’t have been worse. I invested more than 10,000 hours in it and it still isn’t ready for prime time. It may never be. But there were no blondes or cars and my wife and I are still together. So, I won.
Mr. Dreier lost and is only now confronting his demons. In one way, Mr. Dreier is lucky; the demons he is fighting will eventually die on their own, alone and unloved, of old age. If Mr. Dreier wants absolution, he will have to earn it; he will have to apologize to those he has harmed and make amends. Dante to the contrary, there are ways out of hell.
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"If your mother says she loves you, check it out." --Old reporters' motto; also our motto. Copyright (C) 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 Fred Gehm. All rights reserved.