Bank practices worst yet
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From laundering money for Iran, to manipulating interest rates paid by consumers...
Bank fines top $10 billion this year
If you go back to the hearings Congress had on the 2008 financial meltdown, every single CEO of every major financial firm admitted to some sort of financial crime. From betting against investors, the same investors they solicited to invest their savings with; to cooking books to show liquidity levels well below their actual levels; to the entire securitization of debt fraud, led by the rating agencies, that screwed over investors, municipalities, and entire cities ' yet not one person ever went to jail for any of it.
In fact since 2008, the banks have consolidated further, becoming even bigger than too-big-to-fail, and they have been engaging in reckless financial practices, all under the watchful eyes our financial regulatory apparatus. From laundering money for Iran, to manipulating interest rates paid by consumers, to rampant insider trading, nothing has changed. On the bright side corporations (led by financial institutes) are more profitable than ever, which seems to be the only thing that matters any longer in our society.
I won't even go into the farce that was the Dodd-Frank amendment, to regulate Wall Street and Banks. Any provisions with teeth have been castrated or ignored. Instead laws to further abide this reckless financial behavior are being set into stone, to serve well past this congress's oversight, perhaps the sickest fact of all.
The rest of America seems to have paid a much worse price than those who actually caused the financial meltdown, and who continues to put our economy in jeopardy. Thirty percent of Americans are in some state of employment flux, millions of households foreclosed upon, over eleven trillion of personal wealth lost during the crisis, leaving families in long-term financial peril, and over forty-six million Americans live in poverty (state defined poverty), an over twenty-five percent increase since 2008.
With our outdated Democratic Republic, taxpayers unwillingly support the same banks and financial institutions causing their taxes to go up and their life-style to go down, and they have no representation to quell the imbalance. But maybe our system is not broken at all, and we have just failed to heed the founding father's lead, and instead of progressing forward indefinitely, we have come to a complete stop. Thomas Jefferson in a letter to James Madison once wrote, "'a law of limited duration is much more manageable than one which needs a repeal." Perhaps, our laws regulating banks and financial firms need such a temporary structure, to quickly change them when they become obsolete, too restrictive, or ineffective.
Allowing the representatives of thieves, to set in stone the laws of the land has landed us where we find ourselves today.
And this is why a single person has not gone to jail for the market crash of 2008 or any of the fraudulent financial activity large businesses are allowed to partake in. We don't have direct democracy, our representatives, who mostly serve the financial interests, vote to make sure these people, are never prosecuted, and in fact, are allowed to conduct business as usual, for a price - it's undeniable.
Claude Morton, Column Editor: Claude Morton is an independent contributor, who mostly writes articles on politics, Veganism, philosophy, or local events. Claude has contributed to a variety of print and online outlets including Yahoo!, MovieMaker Magazine, and the Ann Arbor News. From Claude; I’m in the 1%, no, not that 1%. I’m a vegan, indie filmmaker, libertarian socialist, and a pacifist. I champion freedom as much as equality, and love discussing solutions about our country’s biggest dilemmas. ... (more...)