Tuesday, July 15, 2014

"Would you please be so kind as to forward to us $75.8 Billion Dollars?"

 Still waiting.

"Send cash".  That's what the Federales have oh-so gently asked of numerous banks, both American and foreign, who were caught doing unspeakable things to their investors and consumers.

Just last week prosecutors told BNP Paribas, France's largest bank, to cough up $8.9 Billion Dollars as punishment for sanctions violations and falsifying their records.  (That was more than da bank made last year, so I'm sure they felt it.)

Here's the financial fine score card since 2012:

     Bank of America.......$35.6B
     JP Morgan Chase.....$23.4B
     BNP Paribas...............$8.9B
     Wells Fargo................$5.3B
     Credit Suisse..............$2.6B

The Frenchies were forced to plead guilty to criminal charges, but it was apparently little more than a photo-op slap followed by a wink.  Nobody is going to jail.

This all looks good on paper, but here's my gripe:  The individuals involved got away with it.  Those billions of dollars in fines are being paid by the banks shareholders.  While the shareholders in a round-about way benefited from the bank's fraud, they didn't cause any of it.

We know from emails and other evidence that those bankers who sold those fraudulent derivatives, swaps, etc, knew exactly what they were doing, but were overcome by the "show me the money" syndrome.  In most cases this knowledge went all the way to the very top of the bank's hierarchy.  They knew, too, but did nothing....except cash their ill-gotten mega-million dollar paychecks every year.

Today they're still sitting on their pile of personal wealth.  They weren't forced to give it back, much less spend even a day in jail, when their banks were fined all those billions of dollars.

This really irks me because I personally know lots of small local businesses who closed their doors when the economy collapsed and credit dried up.  They lost everything....their homes, their life savings, their credit rating, all their assets....pfffft....gone.  (I was lucky.  I never stuck my neck out too far, so I was able pull back pretty easily when it all hit the fan.)

I want to see the bankers punished.  I want to see them driving Chevys and living in little rented houses on the edge of town.  I want to see them working 8 to 5 in a cubicle.  I want to see them pushing a shopping cart through Walmart buying groceries.  

I want to see them eating meat loaf and Hamburger Helper.  I want to see their VIP parking spot at the local country club now say "Reserved For the Caddy of the Month".  I want to see their credit ruined, so they can't even buy a TV on their signature.

I want to see them suffer the same fate as the millions of others they screwed over.  Show me that, then I'm willing to call things even.

I think it's gonna be a long wait.



  1. Spot on Scott. The banks (stockholders) should pay. The bigshots are stockholders too so they did get hurt, but not enough. They should be hit pig personally and some should go to jail...not just the top, but the smug little shits making only several million a year risking other peoples money. And believe me many are just that, smug little elitist shits who think they are above the little people that they rip off.

    I think the argument may have been that to prosecute all responsible would strip the firms of leadership and make the system vulnerable. I disagree in spades.

    By the way, notice how these firms turned over all the emails. None lost or destroyed. That is because destroying all evidence of the emails is not easy, they are backed up all over the place. Unlike the IRS which only keeps records on the individual worker computer hard drives...apparently...we are led to believe...If they say so then I believe it. But then I thought OJ was innocent. Either way lying under oath is not a serious charge is it. Even if it is to cover up abuse of power. Did I go off point in a rant? Sorry Scott.

  2. YES! So what if the Supreme Court says corporations are people - it's time to go after the *individuals* in charge. Put the bastards away for a long time and then foreclose on their assets as part of the penalty. Given the choice of making millions illegally or going to jail for a few years (which few have) it's no wonder they chose the money.

  3. Yeah, it will be a long wait. Don't hold your breath. I wonder if there's a statute of limitation on their crimes.

  4. Yes, yes, and yes! "This really irks me" is way too mild. These criminals destroyed lives.