By Arthur Piccolo
News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Fri. April 15, 2011: It is a story that will not go away.
This is already the second episode here. We all know why Willy Sutton robbed the banks long ago. But we still don’t know who are the banks robbers of today. Meaning, over the last few years who crafted the financial mess that nearly toppled us all.
Since one of many hallmarks of this series is honesty let me give you the latest dose. I’m rushed trying to meet today’s deadline having had my attention diverted by other matters. So retuning again to the “bank robbery” the big bankers themselves pulled on the rest of us is worth a rush job.
Even better in a Bad Way is that all of us need to hang on to the story of the great robbery in American if not human history that took place until JUSTICE prevails. Whether President Obama produces it or we have to look elsewhere.
Justice cannot prevail as long as the perpetrators are not only all running free but for robbing us they were rewarded with hundreds of billions more of our money call it our faith and credit if you prefer (it’s the same thing). They then took the FREE money from the Fed and the Treasury and used it to boost their new profits to record heights and again throwing around multi-million dollar bonuses to themselves and senior staff like free candy.
Which it is. Free to them. Very, very expensive for the rest of us. So back to honesty.
The clock is ticking and I need to submit this week’s Commentary or I will have one very angry editor. You do not want to see my editor angry. So I’m going to turn to today’s that is April 14, 2011 New York Times which I pay dearly to subscribe since I don’t get to expense it here. Turn to The Times to keep our Dear Reader focused on the scam that has been perpetrated on all of us except these bankers and investment bankers and their cohorts.
And when all is said and done this buck this very BIG Buck stops one place at President Barack Obama’s White House door. It is ultimately his responsibility to see to it that perpetrators pay for these crimes. So far he has not. So far there is no reason to believe he will bring the criminals to justice. Indeed those who might most face indictment are those he praises.
So let’s not waste time and get to this article titled “In Financial Crisis, No Prosecution of Top Figures.” Here is the opening paragraph from Times reporters Gretchen Morgenson and Louise Story (that’s her name Louis Story) …..
“It is a question asked repeatedly across America: why, in the aftermath of a financial mess that generated hundreds of billions in losses, have no high-profile participants in the disaster been prosecuted?” STOP right there. This is already enough to summarize the problem and even more let everyone including President Obama know it is not going away!
They go on to write …
“ At the Fed, which oversees the nation’s largest banks, Mr. Geithner worked with the Treasury Department on a large bailout fund for the banks and led efforts to shore up the American International Group, the giant insurer. His focus: stabilizing world financial markets.”
The same Timothy Geithner who Barack Obama then went on to give the highest financial position in the land U.S. Secretary of the Treasury. Hmmmmm. Mr. Geithner claims that in his role at the center of the massive bailouts along with Ben Bernanke all he was doing was “protecting taxpayers.” That is the kind of “protection” we all need.
Give wrongdoers billions of tax payer dollars for screwing us all. Let’s get to the heart of The Times article …
“But several years after the financial crisis, which was caused in large part by reckless lending and excessive risk taking by major financial institutions, no senior executives have been charged or imprisoned, and a collective government effort has not emerged.
This stands in stark contrast to the failure of many savings and loan institutions in the late 1980s. In the wake of that debacle, special government task forces referred 1,100 cases to prosecutors, resulting in more than 800 bank officials going to jail. Among the best-known: Charles H. Keating Jr., of Lincoln Savings and Loan in Arizona, and David Paul, of Centrust Bank in Florida.”
So in the far far smaller savings and loan debacle in the late 1990s 1,100 cases were referred to Federal prosecutors. Yet in the far, far more massive collapse of the mortgage industry and credit default swap scam ZERO referrals to Federal prosecutors. Hmmmmm.
And more from The Times article ….. “Former prosecutors, lawyers, bankers and mortgage employees say that investigators and regulators ignored past lessons about how to crack financial fraud.”
“As the crisis was starting to deepen in the spring of 2008 (under Bush ), the Federal Bureau of Investigation scaled back a plan to assign more field agents to investigate mortgage fraud. That summer, the Justice Department also rejected calls to create a task force devoted to mortgage related investigations, leaving these complex cases understaffed and poorly funded, and only much later established a more general financial crimes task force.”
William K. Black, a professor of law at University of Missouri, Kansas City, and the federal government’s director of litigation during the savings and loan crisis says about the current situation, “their policies (regulators) 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.”
In other words there is a system wide problem at work not any one individual or some small group you can finger in the government what has allowed all of these guys to escape prosecution. In other words this is “simply” how the government is working (sic) in the Obama Administration. How about this from the same article …
“To be sure, Wall Street’s role in the crisis is complex, and cases related to mortgage securities are immensely technical. Criminal intent in particular is difficult to prove, and banks defend their actions with documents they say show they operated properly But legal experts point to numerous questionable activities where criminal probes might have borne fruit and possibly still could.”
There is so, so much more in this juicy New York Times article but I am running out of time. Let me give you the link and read for yourself ….
I’ve already supplied you with the bottom line. Something is and remains very, very wrong here and President Barack Obama is doing nothing about it. He says he is cleaning up his predecessor’s mess. Not in this case. What more do you need to know?
Arthur Piccolo is a professional writer and commentator and often writes about Latin America for New Americas.