Sunday, March 01, 2009

White collar crime

I've been doing most of my blogging about the economy at the Detroit News but I want to pass on these two links here as well. After you read this review of AIG's scammery, tell me if you don't agree they are criminals who belong in jail. The only reason that's not on the table is that they're all good buddies of Geithner. Hell, they put Martha Steward in jail for much less.

And if you're interested in the wonkery, this explanation of the computer model they used to create the illusionary Bush boom years is fascinating. But the main takeaway point from the piece is, there's at least $4.7 trillion in bad paper being floated by these big banks. The hell of it is, we really do have to 'rescue' the institutions or we're well and truly screwed. But I don't see why the execs who created it shouldn't be in prison.

[More posts daily at The Detroit News]

Labels: , ,

Bookmark and Share


Blogger Cosa Nostradamus said...

Attention Earthlings:

Risk is directly proportionate to Return:

The higher the return, the higher the risk.

Anybody who "saves" or invests anything with any financial institution should be required to have this tattooed on their arm. If it sounds too good to be true, you've already lost your money.

The casino mentality is what led to this crash. It started at the top, and went all the way to the bottom. But the house always wins.

This whole generation of MBA CEO's and CFO's that was raised and educated to believe that the universe existed only on paper, with no real people or products, and could be manipulated like a thought experiment or a spreadsheet with no real-world consequences other than making them rich (win, lose or draw) is what's at fault here.

I'd like to see the entire "Chicago School" of voodoo economists and their political followers go to prison for contributing to the delinquency of a generation of minors, and accessory to fraud on a grand scale.

The offending CEO's and top regulators should be publicly executed, slowly and painfully. That MIGHT chasten the rest of them.

8:45:00 PM  
Blogger Libby Spencer said...

Well, I'm against capital punishment, but life in a real prison would feel like justice servced.

11:06:00 AM  
Blogger Cosa Nostradamus said...

I'm against capital punishment in principle, because it's difficult to know with absolute certainty whether a person is guilty of most ordinary crimes; and there is usually only one victim. Plus, it's killing, which is nearly always wrong.

In the case of haut govt. bureaucrats and CEOs, there's no question: The paper-trail is endless, the chain of command is clear, the intent is obvious, and millions are affected. We're talking about deliberate, long-term machinations that hurt millions if not billions of people, all just to enrich and empower a few.

Mere imprisonment will never deter them. An image of a Dick Cheney or a Ken Lay having his head chopped off would tend to stick in their minds. With great offices comes great responsibility, including the ultimate reckoning.

Anyway, it'll never happen. Most never even go to trial, few of them ever see jail, even fewer really do any long, hard time in a real prison. And then they have a whole new career, like Gordon Liddy or Scooter Libby.

While I don't believe our current punitive systems do much to deter crime (research shows that most criminals are impulse-driven and literally cannot foresee the consequences of their actions, and then there's some of the rest of us committing crimes of sudden passion) deliberate premeditated careers of crime are different, and should be treated differently, whether we're talking about drug lords, the Mafia, the Klan, the GOP or AIG.

It's nice to think about, like mentally undressing Congress during the State of the Union. I don't actually ever want to see any of them nekkid. Just humbled.

8:19:00 PM  
Blogger Libby Spencer said...

Humbled would be good Cosa. But that's difficult to do with people who apparently aren't embarrassed no matter how idiotic or cruel they are.

9:01:00 AM  
Blogger Cosa Nostradamus said...

Hence the guillotine.

9:18:00 AM  
Blogger Libby Spencer said...

LOL. I don't know Cosa. I'm afraid it would just reinforce their fantasy of victimhood. They wouldn't see it as justice.

9:33:00 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home