Black People : Economy wreckers should get jail, instead of Trillions

Discussion in 'Black People Open Forum' started by Putney Swope, Sep 21, 2009.

  1. Putney Swope

    Putney Swope Well-Known Member MEMBER

    Jun 27, 2009
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    Published on Monday, September 21, 2009 by the McClatchy Newspapers
    Why Haven't Any Wall Street Tycoons Been Sent to the Slammer?
    by Kevin G. Hall

    WASHINGTON — More than a year into the gravest financial crisis since the Great Depression, millions of Americans have seen their home values and retirement savings plunge and their jobs evaporate.
    What they haven't seen are any Wall Street tycoons forced to swap their multi-million dollar jobs and custom-made suits for dishwashing and prison stripes.

    There are plenty of civil and class-action lawsuits from aggrieved investors angered by the losses in their mortgage bonds, hedge funds or pensions. Regulators have stepped up their vigilance after the fact. But to date, no captain of finance tied to the crisis has walked the plank.

    There have been some high-profile arrests and federal convictions of financial giants — such as Ponzi scheme king Bernard Madoff and Stanford Financial Group chairman Robert Allen Stanford. They weren't among the causes of the financial meltdown, however, just poster boys for an era of lax enforcement, weak regulation and devout faith in free markets.

    "A lot of people who are responsible (for the crisis) seem to have gotten awfully rich in the process," said Barbara Roper, the director of investor protection for the Consumer Federation of America.

    The absence of what many would call justice stands out all the more because past financial crises always had their villains. The depression-era had electricity and railroad magnate Samuel Insull, who partly inspired the movie "Citizen Kane." The savings and loan crisis of the 1980's had banker Charles Keating. Energy giant Enron Corp.'s spectacular collapse offered the late CEO Kenneth Lay, a Texas crony of President George W. Bush.

    Yet there's no such poster child for the Great Recession, as today's crisis is now called.

    One may yet emerge. The FBI has more than 580 large-scale corporate fraud investigations under way. At least 40 of them are scrutinizing players in sub-prime mortgage lending, which was the first domino to fall and triggered a global financial crisis.

    "The investigations are very complex; it's not something that's going to turn overnight," said Bill Carter, a spokesman at FBI headquarters. "They are labor intensive. They involve a review of records."

    To date, the closest thing to a prosecution of a major actor in the financial meltdown is a civil fraud case that the Securities and Exchange Commission brought on June 4 against Angelo Mozilo, the perma-tanned CEO of mortgage-lending giant Countrywide.

    The SEC, in documents filed in a federal courtroom in central California, accuses Mozilo of "deliberately misleading investors" by misrepresenting the risk that Countrywide posed. The SEC also accused him of insider trading because he sold large shares of company stock and options ahead of what he allegedly knew was a coming collapse of mortgage lending.

    Unless the Justice Department brings corresponding criminal charges, however, Mozilo could be hit with penalties and a ruined reputation if convicted — but he wouldn't see the inside of a jail cell.

    Another big trial is imminent, however. On Oct. 13, a Brooklyn jury will begin hearing the federal prosecution of former Bear Stearns investment fund founder Ralph Cioffi and his fund manager Matthew Tannin.

    Two of their hedge funds, offered to mega-wealthy investors and heavily weighted with investments in mortgage bonds backed by sub-prime loans to the weakest borrowers, collapsed in June and August of 2007. Their collapse signaled a gathering storm in mortgage finance that culminated in March 2008 with the government-brokered fire sale of their bank to JP Morgan Chase.

    Both men were charged on June 19, 2008, with defrauding investors, passing off as safe the investment in mortgage bonds even though they described the market for sub-prime mortgages as "toast" in their own e-mails. Cioffi also faces charges of insider trading.

    Lawyers for both men declined comment to McClatchy, but when their clients were arrested they called the pair scapegoats for the broader financial crisis.

    Court documents filed in August show attorneys for the two are trying to suppress evidence that the executives' special trading notebooks have disappeared. The government suspects that Cioffi and Tannin, or someone helping them, made them disappear to cover their tracks.

    Cioffi's attorneys also asked in August that the presiding judge quash the use of evidence that points to their clients' lavish lifestyle, including mansions and Ferraris. The documents accused federal prosecutors of "improper appeal to class prejudice." Tannin's attorneys joined the motion on Sept.15.

    Class prejudice against bankers is what many Americans feel, evident in the death threats made against some former or current executives at insurer American International Group and other financial firms earlier this year. Wall Street switchboard operators at some institutions no longer provide addresses to phone callers.

    Americans are angry because the suffering on Main Street is a spillover from the excessive risk taking and lavish compensation of executives who invested on behalf of the ultra-wealthy. Investors seeking outsized "alpha" returns turned to Wall Street, both seeking to make a short-term killing even if doing so eventually brought the near collapse of the financial system.

    President Barack Obama alluded to this on Sept. 14 in a New York speech to commemorate the anniversary of the collapse of investment bank Lehman Brothers, which sent off a global financial panic.

    "We will not go back to the days of reckless behavior and unchecked

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    Why Haven't Any Wall Street Tycoons Been Sent to the Slammer?

    CITIZEN Well-Known Member MEMBER

    Jul 26, 2009
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    Why haven't any tycoons been jailed?

    In a nutshell, this country was founded on greed and corruption and it will always be that way here. Explorers were sent here to find quick riches like gold, spices, gems. It wasn't found immediately, but the land was workable. Labor was needed to work the stolen lands. Not just any labor. Cheap labor. It is the same way now, except they want to exploit illegal immigrants and job outsourcing to foreign countries for cheap labor instead of blacks.

    The really greedy ones don't even work. They become CEOs and investors, who let the money work for them. Cheap labor = more profit. Defraud investors = more profit.

    Money is power. Power is political and judicial influence. These tycoons won't go to jail. A few scape goats will, just to trick people into thinking justice will be served. The tycoons will just switch jobs or retire. There is so much talk of greedy African dictators who have truckloads of money while there people starve...look at the USA! So much talk about all the crime blacks commit here...small fries compared to the millions stolen, the lives ruined, the number of suicides/familicides by those in financial ruin.