Words of Advice:

"If Something Seems To Be Too Good To Be True, It's Best To Shoot It, Just In Case." -- Fiona Glenanne

"Flying the Airplane is More Important than Radioing Your Plight to a Person on the Ground
Who is Incapable of Understanding or Doing Anything About It." -- Unknown

“Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level
and then beat you with experience.” -- Mark Twain

"Stay Strapped or Get Clapped." -- probably not Mr. Rogers

"Eck!" -- George the Cat

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Did Someone Put Red Bull In the New York Times' Water Cooler?

It is a question asked repeatedly across America: why, in the aftermath of a financial mess that generated hundreds of billions in losses, have no high-profile participants in the disaster been prosecuted?
No fucking shit.
But several years after the financial crisis, which was caused in large part by reckless lending and excessive risk taking by major financial institutions, no senior executives have been charged or imprisoned, and a collective government effort has not emerged. This stands in stark contrast to the failure of many savings and loan institutions in the late 1980s. In the wake of that debacle, special government task forces referred 1,100 cases to prosecutors, resulting in more than 800 bank officials going to jail. Among the best-known: Charles H. Keating Jr., of Lincoln Savings and Loan in Arizona, and David Paul, of Centrust Bank in Florida.
No motherfucking shit.

The reason is the Stockholm Syndrome (or "regulatory capture"). The regulators have identified with the clowns that they are supposed to be watching.
“When regulators don’t believe in regulation and don’t get what is going on at the companies they oversee, there can be no major white-collar crime prosecutions,” said Henry N. Pontell, professor of criminology, law and society in the School of Social Ecology at the University of California, Irvine. “If they don’t understand what we call collective embezzlement, where people are literally looting their own firms, then it’s impossible to bring cases.”
Which would be like the cops identifying with the bank robbers because, when they retire from the force, they can get a consulting job with the firm of Dillinger, Karpis and Barker. That's not far-fetched, the regulators were pals with the people running the banks. The boss of the Office of Thrift Supervision, a loyal Bushie named John Reich, ordered that Countrywide S&L, one of the banks that was cheerfully making sub-prime loans, not be investigated. The reason was that Reich and Angelo Mozilo, the CEO of Countrywide, were friends.

It was more than that. Bush's DOJ told the FBI that the FBI should stop investigating financial crimes committed by the banks, because the DOJ was too involved in ginning up terrorist cases.

The banksters bought out the Republican party. Bush's neutering of the regulators and politicization of the Department of Justice ensured that nothing was done. Obama came in, but nothing changed and likely, nothing could be changed.

So the banksters looted the American (and global) economy, enriched themselves, crashed our economy and walked away scot free.

We should have set up our own guillotines and taken their fucking heads.


Vannevar said...

Which would be like the cops identifying with the bank robbers because, when they retire from the force, they can get a consulting job with the firm of Dillinger, Karpis and Barker.

I know you meant it as hyperbole, but IMO there's so much truth in that in government today.

D. said...

Yeah, I was wondering that myself; it's only taken, what, 2 years? to notice.

Americans (and I say this as one) will not throw a proper revolution until enough of them get aggravated at the same time in the same place. There's a reason discontent stays at a passive-aggressive level (enough to elect Tea Party people, to grouse about sectarian left divisions, and to continue to drive even though gas prices have risen a few hundred percent since even 1979).

Anonymous said...

From what I've seen it isn't just the politician class that identifies with the robber barons.

Spud said...

Give it time, we will have justice in the long run.

Comrade Misfit said...

Spud, yeah, that'll happen about the same time that the Sun becomes a red giant.

BadTux said...

Nope, it'll happen when mass starvation takes hold in the United States and the food riots start. People do *not* willingly starve to death. They do whatever it takes to get food. If there are no lawful orderly ways to do so, they use unlawful means. And once having crossed that line, crossing it once more becomes, not unthinkable as today, but rather thinkable. Just ask Marie Antoinette... oh wait, she sorta lost her head in that one. My bad!

Which is why I am baffled by the cuts to the food stamp program, childhood nutrition programs, and so forth. Do these people (Republicans) not read their history? Oh wait, I forget, they don't read. They have people for that... people who they don't listen to if what their people say contradicts what they want to believe. Alrighty, then!

- Badtux the Snarky Penguin