Wednesday, September 21, 2016

RULE OF LAW OR RULE OF BANKS?

All the huffing and puffing and eloquent vitriol from politicians doesn't do anything about putting a stop to what's going on in the world of Wall Street. 

The criminal activity is rampant yet no one even mentions anyone going to jail or giving the millions of dollars they personally pocketed.

The trouble at Wells Fargo & Co. started small, with a few employees at branches opening bogus accounts as they tried to meet aggressive sales goals and keep their jobs.

Now, after an incendiary hearing during which U.S. senators told the bank’s chief executive he should resign and face criminal charges, it’s morphed into a widening scandal that has at least temporarily united Democrats and Republicans in Washington -- and could spread well beyond Wells Fargo.

Wells Fargo CEO faces bipartisan wrath during fiery Senate panel hearing - LA Times

Since 2009, Wall Street has paid $204,000,000,000 in fines and settlements. This is the equivalent to writing a $640 check to every man, woman and child in America including all undocumented residents. It's hard to imagine an industry running up such a liability unless the basic business model was deeply flawed.

The unlawful acts include the facilitation of money laundering for drug cartels and rogue nations, illegally evicting homeowners, selling fraudulent mortgages and mortgage backed securities, manipulating vital interest rates, insider trading, and facilitating off-shore tax evasion.

The damage done to homeowners and those who lost their jobs during the Great Recession is arguably far worse than the problems caused by drug trafficking. Yet millions, especially people of color, have been arrested, fined, convicted and jailed through the failed war on drugs, while not one of Wall Street's top banking executives has gone to jail or even paid a fine. (Conveniently, $204 billion has been paid by the companies, not by the top executives.)

Here we are in 2016 and nothing much has changed. 

The politicians are ranting but still pandering to Wall Street for campaign cash; less we forget that not so long ago one of our presidential candidates (Hillary Clinton) was on the payroll of many Wall Street banks, including Wells Fargo.