Send the Marines to Wall Street, Bring Back Our Money
by Bob Higgins
Banks, brokers, their insurers and accountants, hell, the whole corrupt financial industry now constitutes the “distinctly native American criminal class” designation that Mark Twain’s Pudd’nhead Wilson ascribed to the congress a century ago.
It seems that not a day passes without revelations that fraud, Ponzi schemes, insider trading, or other illegal or unethical practices are the rule rather than the exception in the world of high finance.
Today was no exception as the NYT reported that JP Morgan pulled a quarter of a billion dollars out of Bernie Madoff related investments before Madoff’s arrest and didn’t inform other investors, effectively leaving them holding an empty bag.
The other item, also from the Times offers further illustration of the orgy of excess going on in the canyons of Wall Street. Last year, they report, was the sixth largest in history for bonuses, with the gamblers, scalpers and other assorted players leaving the tables with an astounding 18.4 billion. This while the country tightens its collective belt, loses its collective job and reduces its collective expectations. President Obama (I admit to enjoyment when I type that) spoke to reporters before a morning meeting with VP Joe Biden and Treas. Sec. Tim Geithner:
“When I saw an article today that indicates that Wall Street bankers had given themselves $20 billion worth of bonuses, the same amount of bonuses as they gave themselves in 2004, at a time when most of these institutions are teetering on collapse and they are asking for taxpayers to help sustain them, and when taxpayers find themselves in the difficult position that if they don’t provide help then the entire system could come down on top of our heads, that is the height of “irresponsibility,”It is Shameful.”
Sen. Christopher Dodd called for using “every possible legal means to get the money back.”
Personally if I were Commander in Chief I’d solve it quickly with a company of Marines. In fact, now that I think of it that’s probably what we should be doing, sending armed troops to regain all the money that these crumbs have fleeced from taxpayers over the last decade and start our own damn banks. Oops, there I go again, gettin’ radical.
*Update* Related story: Stop Rearranging Deck Chairs on the Titanic and Nationalize the Damn Banks