Sunday, November 25, 2012

Creative Enforcement

This December marks the fifth anniversary of the beginning of the Great Recession, and most of the American public (including me) are still angry about why it happened.

Now, I'm not angry for selfish reasons. Except for the taxpayer-funded bailouts and the continued risk of economic collapse, the Great Recession didn't negatively-affect me financially. I profited from it.

In 2006, I saw what was coming, prepared myself accordingly and profited tremendously from the vast financial crimes that were perpetrated against the American public. Although I tried to warn everyone, I'm not angry simply because I personally lost everything like many others.

I'm angry about how it's affected American society as a whole.

What I'm still angry about is the fact that leaders in Wall Street, the banking industry, the real estate industry, and in collusion with some leaders in our own Government, successfully perpetrated the largest financial crime in American history - and got off Scot-free!

But, what makes me even more angry is that even after five long years, many of the same people are still running the show in Government, and that nothing has really been done to prevent these crimes from being perpetrated again. Enforcement is a joke.

So, with all that's transpired in the past five years, how can any rational person NOT be angry and to be cynical about the future of America? Who would trust such a corrupted system?

Personally, I don't see anything changing for the better until the corrupted are removed from office, the too-big-to-fail risks are addressed, the rules are fixed so they can't be "legally" exploited, and the top perpetrators of these crimes are held criminally-responsible. IMO, that's the only way to restore faith.

Like George Carlin cynically jokes about, perhaps we need to become creative in our enforcement.


  1. Like the bankers who launder the drug money, and never get sent to prison..

    HSBC Holdings Plc agreed to pay a record $1.92 billion in fines to U.S. authorities for allowing itself to be used to launder a river of drug money flowing out of Mexico and other banking lapses.

    Source: Reuters

  2. "No credible person will contend that the prosecution of corrupt bank officers can ever endanger the financial community. No matter how important the institution or high-ranking the officer, employees are fungible. The global financial impact of prosecuting these officers, no matter how important they think they are, will always be negligible."

    Source: HSBC Settlement: The Unanswered Questions

  3. Neil Barofsky, former special inspector for the U.S. Treasury's Troubled Asset Relief Program talks about the U.S. Justice Department lawsuit against McGraw-Hill Cos. and its Standard & Poor’s unit over claims S&P knowingly understated the credit risks of bonds and derivatives that were central to the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression.

    Source: Bloomberg "Market Makers": Neil Barofsky on U.S. Lawsuit Against S&P

  4. In this exclusive, unedited interview from The Daily Show, "Bailout" author Neil Barofsky explains why the banks will never face true justice.

    Exclusive - Neil Barofsky Extended Interview Pt. 1

    Exclusive - Neil Barofsky Extended Interview Pt. 2

  5. Finally! The Feds successfully prosecuted, and were able to get a conviction against, some lower level bank executives for their criminal activities. Like all of the Fed's criminal prosecutions over the past five years, this prosecution targeted the smaller criminal players. But at least it's something towards doing the right thing for America. When they finally convict a few criminals running the too-big-too-fail institutions, and other major corporations, then I might grant them some credibility.

    FBI: Executives, Borrower Convicted in Virginia of Massive Fraud Scheme That Led to Collapse of Bank of the Commonwealth

    Following a multi-week trial, three top executives and a favored borrower have been convicted by a federal jury in Norfolk, Virginia. Accused of masking non-performing assets at the Bank of the Commonwealth for their own personal benefit and to the detriment of the bank, those in this long-running scheme contributed to the failure of the bank in 2011, costing the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) an estimated $268 million.