America Is a "Failed State" with a "Dual Justice System ... One for Ordinary People and then One for People with Money and Enormous Wealth and Power" → Washingtons Blog
America Is a "Failed State" with a "Dual Justice System ... One for Ordinary People and then One for People with Money and Enormous Wealth and Power" - Washingtons Blog

Thursday, April 14, 2011

America Is a "Failed State" with a "Dual Justice System ... One for Ordinary People and then One for People with Money and Enormous Wealth and Power"

It is now mainstream news that none of the big financial criminals have been prosecuted.

The New York Times is running an article today entitled "In financial crisis, no prosecutions of top figures", which has been picked up as the leading front-page story by MSNBC. The story even quotes Bill Black:

But their policies have created an exceptional criminogenic environment. There were no criminal referrals from the regulators. No fraud working groups. No national task force. There has been no effective punishment of the elites here.
And the chair of the Financial Crisis Commission, Phil Angelides, said today:

I think there's a great concern in this country on two fronts. One is there's a question here, do we have a dual justice system? One for ordinary people and then one for people with money and enormous wealth and power. Secondly, we need deterrents. To the extent laws were broken, we need deterrents. If someone robs a 7-11, they took $500 and they were able to settle the next day for $50 and no admission of wrongdoing, they'd knock over that 7-11 again. And we've seen time after time where people and firms have made tens, one hundreds, billions of dollars. They've settled charges for pennies on the dollar. At Citigroup for example they represented that they had $13 billion of subprime mortgage exposure when they really had $55 billion. The penalty to the chief financial officer who made $19 million that year, 2007, was $100,000. Goldman was fined $500 million but the date they settled their stock moved up $2 billion. There's been no real consequence.

Well I think there's two things here. Number one is it's up to the prosecutors to do thorough investigations. That's what we should expect. We don't want hangmen justice. We don't want vengeance, but we want thorough investigations. And if people crossed a line they ought to be prosecuted. But there were a lot of people who bellied up to the line and conducted themselves in a way without the highest standards of ethics or moral conduct that hurt the economy badly.

And I think one of the things that's most troubling to people is there seems to be very little relationship between who drove this crisis, the big financial institutions, the CEOs, regulators who didn't do their job, and the people who are paying the price, which are millions of people who have lost their jobs, lost their homes, lost their life savings.

As I've previously noted, Nobel prize winning economist Joseph Stiglitz, former Fed chairman Alan Greenspan and a host of other well-known financial names have called for prosecution, because the economy cannot recover until fraud is prosecuted.

But Wall Street is so thoroughly in control of both parties, Congress, the White House, and even the judiciary, that prosecutions won't happen.

No wonder Marc Faber calls the U.S. a failed state, Kenneth Rogoff says our tax systems are "Byzantine labyrinths funneling money to powerful interests", and experts on third world banana republics from the IMF and the Federal Reserve say the U.S. has become a third world banana republic.

Barry Ritholtz argues that - if the prosecutors won't do their job - we should prosecute them for nonfeasance.

Max Keiser is a tad more radical, saying that - if the criminals aren't prosecuted - we should hang the bankers. I'm not sure if it is a sign of public sentiment, but he got a big round of applause for saying that.


  1. I fully agree with the hang the bankers sentiment, along with the treasonous politicians that work for them.

    You wouldn't have to hang all of them, just hanging a few would make an impression on the remaining ones. But while you got the rope out, you might as well use it until you run out, of either rope or bankers.

  2. This is why we need a people's action which is brought by real people.

    Not this adhoc Public/Politico response of relying on the perpetrators to CORRECT THEIR OWN WAYS.

    These actions are all from the cover-uppers to conduct OUR business which involves THEIR wrong actions.

    You don't pay the town bully to beat you up.
    Bad logic AND strategy.

    You need your own bully.

    Because the people offering you these solutions are themselves culpable!

    Instead you mount your own legal offensive and do what requires doing by the book, by the law and with the clout to make it stick. That IS the only answer.

    It's fine to want to hang bankers, it's emotional drivvel. If you want to change things, you must

    Fight smart to win.

    Are You Mad Enough

    For when you are mad enough to stop reacting and start acting in your own best interest.

    Doing the actual WORK of building your case. Because, believe me, chances are very good that you have one. But you don't have a clue how to win it.

    WE DO.

    nuff said.

  3. Banks have become too big to punish, no in reality they have become to important to campaign contributions.

  4. Make their lives hell. If the Jamie Simons were burned out of their homes, and their kids kidnapped and found in shallow graves...

    you betcha there would be change.

    You only have to make an example of a couple of these demons.

    Make them invest in moats, razor wire and round the clock security for their families. Make em spend a fortune to stay alive

  5. The title of this article says it all. . When I was a child in the late 50's my grandfather and his friends knew this was true. All though my life I've known it, and seen it, but now they act with impunity! They now control everything and take pleasure in our suffering. . Yet somehow I think the tide will change, but it won't be easy nor will it be pleasant. It's deciding what to do and how!! If the prosecutors won't prosecute the guilty then we must indeed prosecute them, in order to get them on board!

  6. - Die Banker Die - Why wouldn't you want to hang the Banksters that put children in the streets for quarterly stock profits? Just seems like a natural response when the laws can't stop them anymore.

  7. Transparency is the Apocalypse…the revolution will be anonymous…the banks will change, or be changed to work with the People, not against Us.

  8. First and foremost, I am an engineer and I can tell you this from studying banks.

    The way ALL banks are run make them prone to failure. Any time all depositors of a bank go in to take their money out of a bank, it will collapse. Go ahead, look up "bank run" on wikipedia.

    I hate Max's populist "hang the bankers" crying call. The only thing that will do is allow a new generation of bankers to repeat the same mistakes of past societies.

    The sole responsibility of banks (specifically commercial banks) should be to keep depositor's monies safe. They should not be allowed to loan out any money. That responsibility should be allocated to "investment banks."

    Commercial banks can make money simply by charging transaction fees and money storage fees. i.e. checking and debit card fees.

    For more information see this post:

  9. hang william, kate & queen elizabeth

  10. If you have negative equity, you are legally entitled to a modification because Wall Street changed the standard capitalist rule of "don't pay, be foreclosed on" when modifying would avoid the investors financial loss from the difference between the distressed sales price of a potential or possible foreclosed negative equity property and the outstanding mortgage amount due.

    Instead the majority of negative equity homeowners are being financially penalized by the governments socialized promotion of the false "misrepresentation" that affordability is the reason a modification is issued allowing Wall Street to intentionally violate the principle of "honest and good faith dealings" using "predatory mortgage servicing practices" and "unfair and deceptive business practices" by taking "undue financial advantage" of negative equity homeowners who are paying or can afford to pay by denying them the same moral, ethical and legal entitlement to a similar capitalist financial benefit that is under the protection of numerous consumer, banking, civil and business laws when Wall Street cannot prove that the 3.5 million modifications issued were for any other reason than to avoid the investors financial loss that every negative equity property would cost the investor. United we have the power for change we can believe in to occur by:

    *Signing the petition to endorse the legal consequence of physically issuing over 3.5 million modifications to avoid the investors negative equity losses, including the 600,000 that the taxpayers paid to be modified for "affordability purposes" that created an industry wide precedent reaffirming that all negative equity homeowners are legally entitled to the same consistent similar financial benefit to avoid the investors negative equity losses from a potential or possible foreclosure.

    *Signing the petition stopping the policy of taxpayers' paying for Wall Streets' unregulated capitalistic actions thru back door deals, subsidies and guarantees creating a six billion dollar monthly taxpayer free stimulus.

    *Signing the petition as an alternate or in addition to a class action lawsuit to obtain the same principal reduction as the "chosen" negative equity homeowners in the states' Attorneys General's proposed settlement violating every negative equity homeowners legal right to a consistent similar financial benefit being received by all similarly situated individuals per the law and the industry wide precedent regardless of mortgage history, type, status, income, affordability, or who the holder of the mortgage note is as outlined in the attached Negative Equity Streamlined Uniform Modification System that capitalism demands.

  11. "There's class warfare, all right, Mr. (Warren) Buffett said, but it's my class, the rich class, that's making war, and we're winning."

  12. Vengeance is mine, saith the Lord


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