Rolling Stone investigative Journalist Matt Taibbi has done it again, writing a knock down, drag out piece asking Why Isn't Wall Street in Jail? It becomes evident if you are rich, acting behind the cover of a corporation, you can get away with pretty much anything. Regular poor people, stealing a bike or a purse, you're going to jail with a felony conviction and a fine larger than your income.
The title of this piece is what a former Senate investigator told Taibbi to write on the financial crisis for that sums up the situation.
From the article:
Nobody goes to jail. This is the mantra of the financial-crisis era, one that saw virtually every major bank and financial company on Wall Street embroiled in obscene criminal scandals that impoverished millions and collectively destroyed hundreds of billions, in fact, trillions of dollars of the world's wealth — and nobody went to jail. Nobody, that is, except Bernie Madoff, a flamboyant and pathological celebrity con artist, whose victims happened to be other rich and famous people.
Instead, federal regulators and prosecutors have let the banks and finance companies that tried to burn the world economy to the ground get off with carefully orchestrated settlements — whitewash jobs that involve the firms paying pathetically small fines without even being required to admit wrongdoing.
I highly recommend reading the entire piece, rattling off the latest messed up system where criminals get multimillion dollar bonuses and the whistleblowers risk everything and receive nothing or worse. The piece goes through the regulatory mechanisms, how they are supposed to work and how it really works, with examples. It's a financial regulator system that literally protects financial crime.
aA veritable mountain of evidence indicates that when it comes to Wall Street, the justice system not only sucks at punishing financial criminals, it has actually evolved into a highly effective mechanism for protecting financial criminals.
Even Bernie Madoff is saying the banks and hedge funds knew he was a fraud. Nobody cared because they were making money.
In case you missed it, TARP special inspector general, Neil Barofsky resigned and guess who cheered? The U.S. Treasury, read Tim Geithner. Barosky wrote report after report blasting the Treasury, the bail outs and especially the AIG payouts. So, the few voices who were reporting on the FIRE sector are dropping like flies. I guess the message is if you're rich enough and want to steal, just change the law and make it all legal. Problem is, this time, the American middle class is truly tapped out. Maybe the Chinese can bail out the financial sector when Economic Armageddon happens again.