It seems the Bernie Madoff Ponzi Scheme has affected everyone from old money to high profile athletes and all the way to large financial groups. We may never know the exact dollar amount of the damage but what no one in the financial world had expected was the impact it would have on elite covert government agents. The Larely Beagle caught up with one such agent and discovered just how financially devastating the Ponzi scheme has been.
In the mid seventies, astronaut Steve Austin was involved in a horrific crash of a Northrop M2-F2. Austin was severely injured in the crash and needed extensive reconstruction surgery, an investment of six million dollars. Austin needed both legs, one arm and his let eye replaced with “bionic” limb replacement, (a highly controversial procedure at the time). The “bionics” installed in Austin enhanced his speed, strength and vision to proportions the government saw useful and he was recruited to work for the OSI (Office of Scientific Intelligence).
Austin, with the advice of his financial advisor Bernie Madoff, took his six million dollar investment and moved into covert operations with OSI from 1974 to 1978. Sensing the cold war was nearing an end and assuming his investment was safe, Austin was forced into retirement.
Austin had this to say, “I thought my six million dollar investment was safe. In 2009 dollars, I would be worth twenty-four million plus interest. Now I’m rusting and my analog circuits need upgradeded with fiber optics and digital. Even with a bionic eye, I didn’t see this coming. I can’t even go back to work. Running sixty mph isn’t as valuable as it used to be and with the metric system, I’m obsolete. I can’t even outrun a Hyundai” Austin also blames poor running shoe technology and President Reagan’s foreign policy on his early retirement.
Austin goes on to say, “If I had Bernie Madoff right here in front of me, I’d throw him three or four blocks down the street. I may be old analog technology but I can still take care of that guy.”