Individual Responsibility Except for Banks

Individual Responsibility Except for Banks

Justice Department’s New Get-Tough Policy Is, Well, Not | Matt Taibbi | Rolling Stone

I get that regulators are worried about job losses. They should be. But the long-term job losses are going to be much greater when investors around the world lose confidence in the U.S. financial system because they recognize that individuals do not face punishment for criminal activity. The individual incentive not to commit crime on Wall Street now is almost zero. Even the worst of the worst – like, say, a certain unindicted co-conspirator in an evolving insider trading case – is only threatened with individual prosecution after years of monstrous and obvious market manipulation, resulting in massive profits that he’ll almost certainly get to keep most of, by the way, if previous settlements are any guide.

It continually amazes, the way all of these law-and-order types are so willing to pontificate about the importance of taking individual responsibility for one’s actions, until the guy in their crosshairs is someone he/she went to college with, or a former client of his or her law firm. Then, suddenly, their idea of drastic justice becomes maybe yanking the license of a foreign subsidiary.

Justice Department’s New Get-Tough Policy Is, Well, Not | Matt Taibbi | Rolling Stone

 

Two Standards of Justice
Two Standards of Justice

Two standard of justice exist in this country. One for those in the government and the higher circles of income and influence and another for the “common” people. If you have been following my blog for the last few years, you will encounter wrong doing among the banking fraternity and the government going unpunished on a regular basis. When there is some justice, it is almost pathetic how little penalty the investment banks and their enablers face. 

But study crime in the United States, and you will note vast penalties handed out for very small crimes indeed particularly drug crimes. My personal favorite is the woman doing fifteen years for a third possession of marijuana. This is what passes for justice.

This poem is from the 17th Century.

The law locks up the man or woman
Who steals the goose off the common
But leaves the greater villain loose
Who steals the common from the goose.

The law demands that we atone
When we take things we do not own
But leaves the lords and ladies fine
Who takes things that are yours and mine.

The poor and wretched don’t escape
If they conspire the law to break;
This must be so but they endure
Those who conspire to make the law.

The law locks up the man or woman
Who steals the goose from off the common
And geese will still a common lack
Till they go and steal it back.

Have things changed all that much?

James Pilant

 

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