September 29,2014 | In a NYT Op-Ed Column, Joe Nocera discussed “Holder’s inability — or unwillingness — to prosecute financial crimes is on the negative side of the ledger.” Readers began to pile in comments due to it being a topic worthy of discussion , Holder resigning the days before. Below are some of the comments recommended by the readers themselves.
We are supposed to be a nation where every person is equal before the law. But everyone “knows” this is not the case. Petty criminals are sent to jail for multi-year terms for stealing pittances, literally, yet managers of large financial institutions get at most a slap on the wrist for defrauding millions.
The reasons are, of course, clear. We are not really a democracy, with “justice for all”, we are a plutocracy, or an oligarchy, where a very small group of unelected people wield all the power. The process of democratic election has become a farce, as the results are largely determined by the money and the power which the oligarchs wield.
So it is somewhat ludicrous to expect that these oligarchs will allow some of their own to be called to “justice” by our so called “legal system” – it is a rigged system.
In the long run this leads to increasing disregard for “the rule of law” and ultimately to mob rule and/or anarchy. We thought we, the western world, had learned from the French Revolution, and had found in “liberal democracies” the key to reasonably enlightened governance which benefits, if not all, but then at least a very large majority.
The amoral tenets of “the free market”, especially the “laissez faire” kind favored by Anglo Saxon countries, is just a reincarnation of the old “God-sanctioned” royal houses. The Bolshevik Revolution was the first wave of responses to the excesses of new “market-force” sanctioned ruling class. Who knows what the next wave will be.
Gehner uses similar retroact as Dr. Cornel West, which is a beating tone throughout the country as extreme measures of injustice are perpetuated the past few terms of presidency.
Here’s another factor to consider: in light of Carmen Segarra’s revelations of the way the Fed viewed itself as Goldman Sach’s protector rather than its regulator – and the likelihood that other banks had similar arrangements with their regulators, the banks would very likely have claimed that the Fed told them their actions were OK. Additionally, the regulators would have been destroying any evidence of wrongdoing.
The problem isn’t just that Eric Holder didn’t prosecute obviously guilty bankers – or that the laws have been weakened to a point making it difficult to convict anyone. The real problem is that the banks have “captured” their regulators, making it virtually impossible to establish the facts needed to prosecute.
Of course, when the whole house of cards collapses so completely that even massive transfers of funds from us taxpayers to the banks isn’t enough to prevent a disaster – there will be plenty of folks claiming that the cure is lower taxes and fewer regulations. Evidence that the disaster was actually caused by tax avoidance by the 0.1% and lack of effective regulations (and their enforcement) will be buried on page 35, and soon forgotten.
If we have read Andrew Ross Sorkin’s book, “Too Big To Fail,” we see that the lawyers wrote the descriptions of those CDOs that eventually brought down the system. They covered their derrieres very well. We ordinary investors could not buy those, and anyone who did, was considered a sophisticated investor.
The real crime was in getting the bond rating agencies to give these and other derivatives investment grade ratings. Those could then be sold to pension plans, county, city and school district plans and other restricted investments.
When the state of New York tried to charge these bond raters with criminal conduct, the courts ruled it was their opinions, and protected by the first amendment.
Even though they were supposed to be experts, and charged fees for these ratings, they were not held responsible for their malfeasance.
Search the U.S. Code as you will, you will have a very difficult time finding a law you can prosecute the financial manipulations under. The lawyers saw to that from the start. The only obvious ones are the liar loans, the mortgage brokers, who wrote them up, and sold them to the banks as meeting financing standards.
You can not blame holder for something he could not do. He has had his investigators looking for criminal acts he can prosecute, but those “Banksters” you all hate were slippery, they made sure they were within the law Close to the edge maybe, but just inside it. I’ll bet he would have loved to be able to prosecute one of them.
These spirited and insightful comments are the ones that spark and bring quality information to forums and social networks.