There is so much of this that goes to the heart of what is wrong with our country and the world financial system. Capitalism is a great system … in many respects. I’m a capitalist and people are sometimes confused by the name “I Acknowledge Class Warfare Exists” because many people will interpret that to be extreme (in a negative way) or some feel let down or angry because I don’t espouse Marxist ideals. Well – you can be a capitalist and understand that “class warfare exists”; it so very clearly does.
If you need a primer on what the LIBOR scandal is all about – read this infographic HERE.
And the LIBOR scandal is just part 25 in an ongoing series of how the game is rigged in the capitalism that we have TODAY. Just as many Marxists will say that Communism under Stalin was not consistent with the Communism that they support, I am here to tell you that the Capitalism that we live in is neither “free enterprise” or a “free market economy” and it certainly isn’t about shared prosperity or equality of opportunity.
So – we’ve been having this debate … do we want a laissez-faire liberal approach to markets that says less regulation is always better … an approach that says markets are rational and will do what is in their self interests which will then benefit the whole of America. Do we want this idea of “smaller government” that is totally undefined where businesses can do whatever it wants?
All of those things are the so called “conservative” approach to governance. Let the markets figure it out. Less regulation is always best. Repeal regulations and deregulate the financial sector and everything will be fine. Conservatives voted against the Dodd-Frank law which regulates these banks even after these Too Big To Fail Banks almost brought down our entire system throwing the world into a Global Great Depression. After all of that empirical evidence and history … they still think less is better.
The Republican presidential nominee STILL believes we should repeal Dodd-Frank which regulates the banking sector AND Sarbanes-Oxley passed by George W. Bush in response to the huge Enron scandal early in his presidency. And make no mistake – the politicians that support this “less regulation” approach are as corrupt as they come. They get paid very handsomely by the banks to feel that way and quid pro quo is how they do business. I’d call them prostitutes but then it would be defiling the escort industry. So – that’s one approach.
The other approach is that government has a role in protecting the economic system and the American people. This approach takes into consideration all of the violations and dishonest behaviors that not so long ago were illegal and now merely get a fine. They believe that there needs to be a “cop on the beat” to stop Wall Street from doing dishonest things; white collar crime is rampant and are even more harmful to Americans than petty criminals who could get 20 years in federal prison for their crimes. There are people like Senator Bernie Sanders who say we should just “break up the banks“; and you have people like Elizabeth Warren who have actually regulated the banks first hand and come to the conclusion that “banks can’t regulate themselves“.
Elizabeth Warren writes an Op-Ed in the Washington Post going after the bankers for manipulating global interest rates via LIBOR HERE:
Real accountability would mean prosecuting the traders and bank officials who violated federal laws and prosecuting the executives who knew what they were up to. It would mean forcing executives to pay back any inflated compensation that was based on padded profits.
But the heart of accountability lies deeper. It rests on acknowledging that we cannot trust Wall Street to regulate itself — not in New York, London or anywhere else. The club is corrupt. When Mitt Romney says he will move to repeal all of the new financial regulations, he supports a corrupt system. When members of Congress grill regulators for being too tough on Wall Street and slash the budgets of the regulators charged with overseeing Wall Street, they prop up a corrupt system.
More to come on this but a little taste … large banks are banding together already to try to do a settlement deal to protect itself from potential embarrassment and scandal. You can read about that HERE.
Execution or lifetime in prison is fine with me but handing them a fine that goes directly from the profits of the bank with zero personal accountability is completely unacceptable. I’ve said that maybe we should just “Eat the Bankers” or we should just “Send the Bankers to Jail“.
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