Notice these violations of banking regulations are always presented as victimless crimes or crimes that only affect investors, never people who lose jobs or homes or how they impact on the economy worldwide.
Most of the coverage does not link all these financial crimes to the larger effect and impact they have had on the world.
Last June, Congresswoman Maxine Waters tried to raise these issues with Ben Bernanke, the chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank asking him to take action. He retreats into bland and passionless responses. It didn’t seem he was in much of a hurry to say anything. (Watch her efforts on You Tube)
Months later, other regulators in Britain and the United States acted but also in a low-key way.
These prosecutions are highly selective and show a real unwillingness to crack down on bank crimes, even when they involve drug running.
Former New York state Gov. Eliot Spitzer, and a former prosecutor who went after Wall Street commented on a refusal to go after the HSBC Bank on these charges, “The decision to not prosecute in this instance belies everything that the government has ever done with regard to drug prosecutions everywhere.
“I mean, when you think about the way they behave toward ordinary people who get caught up in drug cases, where they seize all your property and they use absolutely the maximum sentences they can possibly avail themselves of, and in this case they catch a bank that launders billions of dollars for Colombian and Mexican drug cartels … for years on end, and they can’t find something to charge these people with?”
If the law doesn’t apply equally to everybody, then you don’t really have a system of law.
It’s not just the banks or governments. The media seems to just be admitting that many banks are run like criminal enterprises.
I and others in the independent media have been making these points for years, as the website Zero Hedge noted:
• Fraud caused the Great Depression and the current financial crisis, and the economy will never recover until fraud is prosecuted.”
• Criminal fraud is the main business model adopted by the giant banks.”
• Largely because they are out-of-control criminal enterprises, the economy cannot recover unless the big banks are broken up.”
• The Obama administration has made it official policy not to prosecute fraud. Indeed, the “watchdogs” in D.C. are so corrupt that they are as easily bribed as a policeman in a third world banana republic.
• Instead of prosecuting, the government throws money at them
As Nobel prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz noted years ago:
“The system is set so that even if you’re caught, the penalty is just a small number relative to what you walk home with. The fine is just a cost of doing business. It’s like a parking fine. Sometimes you make a decision to park knowing that you might get a fine because going around the corner to the parking lot takes you too much time.”
Slowly, these concerns are working their way into the media but without much of the larger framework presented in a dire global economic report on just how deeply the world economy has been wounded.
The U.N. reported that it will take until 2017 before jobs come back to pre-crisis levels, if they ever do, the global recession could easily deepen given the problems with the U.S., European and, now, the Chinese economies.
Much of this tracks back to the financial crimes that are just officially being acknowledged. It’s important to remember the warnings of Vanity Fair’s Graydon Carter who, years ago, referred to the criminal practices of big bankers, when he said, “Never have so few done so much to so many.”
Also note that none of this “back story” is ever referenced in the reporting on the so-called fiscal cliff negotiations. It is rarely mentioned how much of the money owed is in interest due banks. We keep hearing reports about our economic woes without any discussion of what is behind it.
News Dissector Danny Schechter directed two films on financial crimes, “In Debt We Trust,” and “Plunder.” He also wrote “The Crime of Our Time” about bank rip-offs. (Disinformation Books.) He blogs at Newsdissector.net. He hosts a show on ProgressiveRadioNetwork.com (PRN.fm).Comments to firstname.lastname@example.org
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