By Laurence Kotlikoff Forbes Contributor
People of little means in our country are routinely being incarcerated for minor crimes. Meanwhile, big-time criminals engaging in major financial crimes that effectively involve the theft of billions of dollars from the public aren’t being prosecuted. Today we learned of yet another huge settlement by five of the largest banks operating in our country. The list includes JP Morgan, Citigroup, Barclays, the Royal Bank of Scotland,and UBS.
Each of these banks admitted to engaging in criminal activity. But banks don’t commit crimes. People working for banks commit crime. And when people working for banks commit crime, it’s the responsibility of our Justice Department to indict them. If our Justice Department can’t figure this out, the personnel running our Justice Department need to be fired. That’s the President’s job. So the big question here — today’s fine is $5.6 billions, so we can say the billion dollar question here is why the President continues to give Wall Street criminals a pass?
Does his political party need Wall Street contributions this much? I voted for President Obama, but this truly makes me sick to my stomach. The same is surely true of any decent American reading this article. And this is not just a matter of elemental justice. It’s also vital to the economy’s future well being. We are operating a faith-based banking system with full opacity. No one can learn how his money is really being used or misused. The government, which should be heavily involved in fully disclosing on a real-time basis what each financial corporation owns and owes is doing nothing of the kind. Instead, the Dodd-Frank bill has not only left faith-based banking in full swing. But it’s also permitted banks to continue operating with extremely high levels of leverage.
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