The silence is pretty amazing. The man most responsible, or at least, a central player, in the greatest financial crisis in generations–a crisis that cost tens of millions of people around the globe their jobs and their futures–gets a whopping RAISE…and not a single political leader has stood up to challenge the generosity of the “free market”. This is corruption writ large. And, yet, not a word from the White House, not a word from any figures, future presidential candidates or otherwise, to take on what is a big middle finger to the entire American public.
Par for the course. Though you would be right to say “you have got to be kidding,” the truth is that the signal has been sent from the White House and from most of Congress that the bankers will not go to jail and they will not bear any personal cost of causing the greatest financial crisis in generations, a crisis that cost millions of people their jobs, thei retirement, their dignity and their futures. And the crystal clear example, from the outset, has been Jamie Dimon. He’s getting a big fat raise.
If you were Jamie Dimon, or a sleazy banker of the same stripe, and you got the following deal, would you take it: make billions of dollars for your bank, which, in turn, rewards you personally making you a very, very wealthy man BUT, in the process, because of combination of incompetence, criminality and greed, you help destroy an entire economy and put millions of people out of work, for which your bank pays billions of dollars in fines BUT you get to keep your job and, despite all the crimes, you don’t spend a single night in jail nor do you take out a single dime from your own pocket because the system will protect you and instead hand the bill to essentially the very people you hurt, and you are dealing with a government with no spine or inclination to punish the responsible people at the top so don’t worry for a second…well, would you take that deal?
Of course you would.
And that, in a nutshell, is the upshot of the $13 billion sham fine Jamie Dimon cut with the Obama Administration.
Jamie Dimon lives a charmed life. In a normal world, he would be in jail or at least be out of a job–not earning millions of dollars in pay and benefits. Which is really a parable about the world in which we live in where nothing really changes.
I like a good sense of humor as much as anyone. So, I tip my hat to the people over at Standard and Poor’s — especially the legal department — for giving me a chance to just have a good ‘ole belly laugh. You see, all that stuff about S&P’s culpability in the mortgage scam that robbed millions of people of their jobs and savings is just made-up, and, to boot, the lawsuit filed by the Justice Department is “political retribution.” Seriously. Now, c’mon, did you laugh or not?
So, Wall Street got to really fuck workers once — when the greedy bastards who cratered the economy with their foolish games, they put millions of people into the streets, people who lost their jobs because of the greed. While not a single high-ranking financial leader is in jail, the greedy bastards are coming back for a second time to fuck workers — this time trying to screw them out of pensions.
Hey, no big deal — you run a company rife with conflicts of interest, you help crater the economy, costing millions of jobs and trillions of dollars in wealth…and you keep racking up more and more money. Life is good for Lloyd Blankfein.
Every decade or so, we get a new “gap”. You remember the “missile gap”? Now, we have the “pension gap” — the difference between what sits in pensions funds and what is owed to retirees. But, who caused that gap?
My first reaction to AIG’s consideration of a suit against the government was like many people: what the fuck? You guys should all be in jail, not swimming along thanks to $182 billion in taxpayer bailout money. But, then, in retrospect, it makes sense.
When I come back in my next life, I want to be a banker or a hotshot on Wall Street. Because it’s the kind of work where you can do anything you want, break any laws, never get punished and make a huge amount of money. And the best thing is: you make someone else pay for your fuck-ups. That is the upshot of the settlement reached today with the banks. Another day, another sham.
This will be, for some, a tough one. But, if we are really to change the system, we have to be unsparing to people, no matter what political persuasion they come from.
One of the great myths that created the seeds of the financial crisis was that the ratings agencies–Standard and Poor and Moody’s–where “independent”. What a crock–the ratings agencies gave positive ratings to the crummy debt securities that were at the heart of what led to millions of people losing their jobs and they have been the water boys for the financial elite who peddled this crap. Now, we have a conviction of S&P: Guilty in a court of law.
So, it’s easy to capture our predicament today–though you’d never get that from the transcribers of press releases (formerly known as “journalists”). Here is is neatly summed up: we’ve been robbed, only little fish are being held accountable for relatively small crimes and, even more to the point, in a political rhetorical world where shareholders are revered, the shareholders are being left to pay the bill.
Hey, Bank of America shareholder, how does it feel to have the executives deceive investors (in other words, lie), escape any personal responsibility for the lies, cause huge losses and, then, stick YOU with a bill for over $2 BILLION? Well, probably not a great feeling but, screw you, you are just an investor, not a coddled, overpaid executive who just got handed a stay-out-of-jail card.
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Wed Aug 29, 2012 at 07:30 PM EDT
Banksters Get Off Again: Citibank Pays Off Crimes, Robert Rubin Skates
Same old story. The crimes of the financial crisis remain, for the most part, unpunished-except if you are a shareholder of a financial institution who is paying the price for the misdeeds and crimes of the greedy, overpaid executives who destroyed the lives of millions of people. Today’s example: Citibank.
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