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Judge Milton Pollack on Zero Sum Thinking

Milton Pollack, who was appointed a federal judge by President Lyndon Johnson in 1967 and oversaw many notable corporate corruption cases, has died in Manhattan. He was 97. I used a great quote of his in my book:

“Seeking to lay the blame for the enormous Internet Bubble solely at the feet of a single actor, Merrill Lynch, plaintiffs would have this Court conclude that the federal securities laws were meant to underwrite, subsidize, and encourage their rash speculation in joining a freewheeling casino that lured thousands obsessed with the fantasy of Olympian riches, but which delivered such riches to only a scant handful of lucky winners. Those few lucky winners, who are not before the Court, now hold the monies that the unlucky plaintiffs have lost, fair and square, and they will never return those monies to plaintiffs. Had plaintiffs themselves won the game instead of losing, they would have owed not a single penny of their winnings to those they left to hold the bag (or to defendants).”

Yes, the Judge wasn’t much for whiners.


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