And Not A One Of Them Will Ever See The Inside Of A Jail Cell
Yesterday we talk some about Privatization and the damage it has done to the country and most of its citizens. We looked at how The big Wall Street banks deliberately drove thousands of government jurisdictions across the country into bankruptcy or near bankruptcy and what they gained… other than billions of dollars for their own coffers which is obvious… by doing so. In case you’ve forgotten or (more likely) didn’t see it, this excerpt sums it up about as well as anything could.
With perverse irony, the corruption and incompetence of private industry has actually furthered the cause of privatization, as the collapse of the financial markets has deprived state and local governments of necessary public funding, leading to an even greater call for private development.
As aptly expressed by a finance company chairman in 2008, “Desperate government is our best customer.”
It certainly doesn’t take an Einstein to figure out that MAKING governments that desperate was a primary goal in the actions taken by the banks during the Bush regime’s time in office. The members of the Banker Gang knew exactly what the fallout from the meltdown was going to be and they had plans in place to to exploit every situation that was going to arise from it. This is organized crime on a scale unimaginable to little people like me who grew up believing that this was a nation of law and that we were all equal under that law. I simply did not… in fact COULD not… believe that I was laboring under any kind of delusion until the emergence of the modern Republican Party in 1980. The awakening has been rude if I might indulge myself in a bit of understatement.
The idea that the people running and working for the big banks might be more than a little willing to bend or even the common concepts of relatively unimportant things things like ethics, morality and even the law itself just never occurs to most people. Or if it does, it’s just a necessary byproduct of the capitalism that has made America great. the jingoistic slogan du jour happens to be.
We’ve known for the past three decades that on Wall Street money and profit trump EVERY other consideration and that a loose cote of ethical behavior plays a large part in getting these people to where they are. We’ve known that very few of these people have any sense of responsibility to the society upon which they prey and that they suffer from a massive entitlement complex that has them convinced that it is their ordained right to simply take what they want and consequences be damned as long as they befall someone else. America’s ruling class has become the 21st century version of the “Mafia” except that their particular brand of organized crime, over the past 12 years alone, has cost the average American many times more than the “mob” ever has during the entire time of its existence. At least the Mafia never brought down the strongest country in the world (nor did they ever try to).
Phil Angelides, in an Op Ed p for the San Francisco Chronicle makes the case that like Bart Simpson, the banksters can’t recall what they did, they don’t remember why they did it and they can’t explain why they’re going to do it again. The one thing they and we can be sure of however, is that given the level at which evil permeates the financial services sector in this country today… and not only the lack of any consequences for their actions but the fact that they’ve been REWARDED with trillions of dollars stolen from the pockets of the taxpayers… just like any child who continues to go unpunished or is rewarded for his misdeeds, they WILL do it again.
Money laundering. Price fixing. Bid rigging. Securities fraud. Talking about the mob? No, unfortunately. Wall Street.
These days, the business sections of newspapers read like rap sheets. GE Capital, JPMorgan Chase, UBS, Wells Fargo and Bank of America tied to a bid-rigging scheme to bilk cities and towns out of interest earnings. ING Direct, HSBC and Standard Chartered Bank facing charges of money laundering. Barclays caught manipulating a key interest rate, costing savers and investors dearly, with a raft of other big banks also under investigation. Not to speak of the unprecedented wrongdoing that precipitated the financial crisis of 2008.
Evidence gathered by the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission clearly demonstrated that the financial crisis was avoidable and due, in no small part, to recklessness and ethical breaches on Wall Street. Yet, it’s clear that the unrepentant and the unreformed are still all too present within our banking system.
A June survey of 500 senior financial services executives in the United States and Britain turned up stunning results. Some 24 percent said that they believed that financial services professionals may need to engage in illegal or unethical conduct to succeed, 26 percent said that they had observed or had firsthand knowledge of wrongdoing in the workplace, and 16 percent said they would engage in insider trading if they could get away with it.
And there you have it. “If I can get away with it, I’m going to do it.” because my position as a financial services exec requires me to do so in order to be successful. And if their success as a manipulator of other people’s money depends on throwing your granny in front of a speeding train, you might as well find yourself a plastic bag and hie on down to the train station and hope there’s enough pieces left to bury, because they’ll do that too.
These are people whose lives revolve exclusively around their sense of self and their sense of self revolves around being either part of the 1% or at least a bootlicker for the 1% which is where our elected “leaders fit into the picture. The inability of the Tea Party rank and file to grasp these simple facts and that these simple facts should be trumping their hate for any single individual or ideology is what will eventually spell the end of the republic as we have known it, not any threat from outside.