Sunday, July 20, 2014

$250 billion - that's how the banks value fraud versus the AG's $7 billion wrist-slap fine

Separation of powers - a concept that's at the core of the American ideal. Yet somehow it's been simplified down to "government" (big vs small), and the people herded into two tidy political camps - Team R & Team D.

Yet there are certainly other "powers" that must also be restrained so a people can live in liberty (military, religion, courts, oligarchs, banks, etc.) It is the banks that are the focus of my writing as they are perhaps the most powerful and misunderstood power, especially by those herded into the R camp who for some reason see only Gov as a power to restrain. And it is the large banks who most clearly grasp how our monetary system works and who use it most effectively for their own ends. 

Money can be confusing, and so it's very easy to stay with our "team" and blame the "other team" for all problems, as though everything is ultimately political and comes down to who is in the White House. But in recent decades, little has rivaled the damage done to society and the economy by the financial sector (really it's the big global banks not all/local banking that is the "power" referenced). 

The good news is that the light appears to be shining in their dark corner and perhaps this will lead to much needed reforms.

See here for the latest - a $250 Billion inter-bank lawsuit arising from the 2008 fraud and criminal activity in mortgage banking - are the wheels about to come off?

Bill Black provides the critical details that blew the top off the case - all of which is "strangely missing" from the AG announcements and media coverage:

  • Richard Bowen was the Citicorp chief underwriter and the whistle blower that deserves more credit and to encourage others to step forward.
  • Regulators did their job which should be publicized and encouraged, not hindered or hidden. 
  • This was a criminal indictment which should have resulted in prosecutions and jail-time, not a fine and wrist slap. 
There is a reason certain banking activity is regulated and certain actions are fraudulent and criminal. Until senior executives are jailed as they were after the Savings & Loan crisis, fines will remain a good investment for continuing the destructive behavior until the next financial crisis.