Friday, March 20, 2009

Where are the freaking cops?

The AIG "retention bonus" fiasco has made me wonder something. Where are the cops?

It isn't much of a stretch at this point to suggest that massive fraud is occurring in the financial sector. I am not just talking about AIG. I am talking about Bear Stearns, Lehman Brothers, Goldman Sachs, hedge funds, private equity funds, and last if not least, the Federal Government itself. Which begs the question: If the SEC is truly tainted by Wall Street, why isn't the Department of Justice, the US Attorney General's office, or US Marshal's office starting investigations?

If this country's legislative branch can impeach a president over a BJ or go relentlessly after baseball icons for using hormones to enhance athletic performance, (while millions of teenage girls use similar hormones legally to avoid the natural outcome of their sexual forays) why can it not manage to concern itself over the loss of trillions of dollars of taxpayer's money?

Why does NY state attorney general Cuomo have the lonely task of investigating the bankers from the state level? Why is the federal government sitting on its hands?

Has the federal government become so thoroughly corrupt that it finds itself in the position of using taxpayer money to support a wealthy criminal group, rather than issue indictments under the RICO statutes?

How does a democratic government maintain legitimacy in the eyes of its citizens when the odor of corruption washes over 2 of the 3 branches? So far, only the judicial branch *seems* to remain free of this mess. The reason that I say *seems* with asterisks is because the only fraud the judicial branch had to deal with is Bernard Madoff, who uh... CONFESSED to running a Ponzi, then pled guilty as charged. Not exactly an acid test for the judicial branch.

While Fed Chairman Bernanke and President Obama have said that they are "angry" over the bonuses, apparently that anger has not translated itself into a resolve to determine whether or not these guys are, in fact, criminals.

My concern is that their overriding desire right now is to restore confidence in our financial system. News flash: It won't happen.

Nobody trusts the banks, their overpaid CEOs, their financial statements, nor their traders. Giving bankers gobs of taxpayer's money won't help to restore trust. It probably won't even make these problem-gamblers solvent again.

What is pathetic and shameful about this situation is that the government can't find the wherewithal to prosecute what appears to be a simple-to-follow confidence trick, but rather ends up defending, supporting, and FUNDING it. With our children's future income.

Let's just call that a reverse inheritance from our kids to Wall Street con artists. I sure hope we get health care for every American, and in particular our children. That's because much of their income has been pledged to banks (and not-really-banks like Goldman and AIG) that are arbitrarily deemed "too big to fail".

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