When one is dine and wine by the "richest, smartest, classiest ..." more often than not they forgot that the world's a stage. They live to tell the tale that Mr/Mdm "who's who" had invited them to share their dreams and fruits of labour.
And the truth is we live among the Good, the Bad & the Ugly.
It is unkind to call Madoff's victims and Lehman Brothers investors Oxymoron - Oxymorons are a proper subset of the expressions called contradictions in terms. They were lead by their nose by established institutions and famous characters. They 'bought' themselves into the 'rich & famous' circles; only to realize that names alone do not guarantee good, reliable characters. A little due diligence and a void of greed would have saved the day.
Or was it Narcissism - The term narcissism means love of oneself, and refers to the set of character traits concerned with self-admiration, self-centeredness and self-regard - that make victims easy preys? You can win sometimes, most times but NOT all the times. When winnings come easy, complacency sets in and one becomes 'invincible'. "I" becomes an overpowering pronoun and little heed is paid to red flags as "I" know what "I" am doing!
(Narcissism - The name was chosen by Sigmund Freud, from the Greek mythof Narcissus, who was doomed to fall in love with his own reflection in a pool of water).
Lets not cry over spilled milk; pick up, review, resolve and without regret, move ahead. The next time, when things are too good to be true, it probably is!
Be guarded and smarter the next time round.
Good luck 01012009