in the great headline piece "financial crisis with few prosecutions," the times' sleuths are less effective than your dog digging for bones in the back yard. they purport to explain a phenomenon whereby trillions were looted by the banks, and then the same banks were made whole by the federal government for the lousy investments the bankers made in the process of pulling down outrageous fees for their corrupt "services."
but instead of loading the conspirators into horsecarts and bringing them to the guillotine, the government showed no relish in pursuing or attempting to punish the miscreants. the whole enforcement apparatus at the federal level is compromised by the revolving door between government and their corporate masters, intertwined a world wide web of deceit and exploitation that exists to separate working people from the fruits of their labors, while enriching the undeserving elites that control a system of control.
the times, on the other hand, does its best to muddy the waters here. their expert, a alumnus of the S&L prosecutions of the 1980s and now a law professor, claims that there is no systemic effort to defeat an honest investigation into the shenanigans of corporate heathens; it's just that no one was really paying attention:
“This is not some evil conspiracy of two guys sitting in a room saying we should let people create crony capitalism and steal with impunity,” said William K. Black, a professor of law at University of Missouri, Kansas City, and the federal government’s director of litigation during the savings and loan crisis. “But their policies have created an exceptional criminogenic environment. There were no criminal referrals from the regulators. No fraud working groups. No national task force. There has been no effective punishment of the elites here.”if a regulatory and law enforcement regime exists to check the impulses of human avarice, and law enforcement is lavishly funded to ensure our safety against the predations of miscreants, and yet neither of these instruments of a government that protrudes into every nook and cranny of our existences, can that be accidental, or just an honest oversight?
please, don't make me puke. the expert above notices the lack of any concerted effort to foreclose the profitability of these financial depredations, and yet it does not in any way constitute a conspiracy when the authorities refuse to engage in rampant illegal activity that left in its wake a toll of debt and destruction on an unparalleled scale.
this is what we get, however, and it is the best we can expect under the circumstances. the article by the times does yeoman duty to preserve the image of the selfless public servant, whose only concern is for the preservation of the beloved and trusted institution. timmy geithner, obama's treasury secretary, and andrew cuomo, then-attorney general and now-governor of new york, met at the precipice of the 2008 disaster to plot a strategy going forward. as the times tells it:
Mr. Cuomo, as a Wall Street enforcer, had been questioning banks and rating agencies aggressively for more than a year about their roles in the growing debacle, and also looking into bonuses at A.I.G.you couldn't make this stuff up: two guys exulting in guilty pleasure like a couple of boy scouts with a pilfered copy of dad's playboy mag, surveying the mile upon mile of financial ruin their paymasters have left in their profligate wake, and trying to devise a plausible out for their bosses. it's a stinky and rotten system overseen by craven and self-aggrandizing pricks with an eye to the next big payday as daddy's tasty butt-muffins.
Friendly since their days in the Clinton administration, the two met in Mr. Cuomo’s office in Lower Manhattan, steps from Wall Street and the New York Fed. According to three people briefed at the time about the meeting, Mr. Geithner expressed concern about the fragility of the financial system.
His worry, according to these people, sprang from a desire to calm markets, a goal that could be complicated by a hard-charging attorney general.
you have to hand it to these guys, as well as the government establishment in washington, for their pure, ignominious chutzpah. not only were the banks greedy on a heretofore unparalleled scale, but their partners in crime on the federal level we so accomodating (and the press so supine and supportive, too!), as to roll out the red carpet for fraud surpassingly brazen beyond comprehension.
no one with a lick of sense in 2005 or 2006 could have seen home prices, for example, climb as precipitously as they did, and fail to ask what it was that drove prices beyond any conceivable link to the underlying value of the asset. there was no sense to rising values, except the recognition of a bubble of immense proportions inflating itself to the absolute limit -- and then past it. government regulators, except that they were in thrall to the laissez fare ideology of the bush administration, could not but have seen the markets awash in frantic speculative excess of a scale that would cause a massive convulsion across the entire economy upon its inevitable collapse.
this system was setup to fail, and failed grandly when it did. it has taken an immense amount of the wealth of working people with it, as their investments and pensions have been sucked dry by the wall street finaglers and piss-pot petes of corporate america, who write checks to the astroturf dumbfucks who ride herd on the tea-party movement, as well as other clench-boweled bozos in a permanent state of asshole-physical lockdown.
the same folks who always end up holding the bag are holding a big old, stinking sack of shit this time. the government is strapped for cash, after fighting all its pointless wars of empire across the mideast and north africa, and then showering golden love lockets upon the losers of wall street -- a criminal class that continues with its campaign of pillage and rape of working people.
the losers on wall street, after they've sucked everything else out of this economy, have but one more vast reservoir of cash to deplete before they forsake all the peons of the USA for good, and carry their hoary asses full of pilfered war-bucks off to some tropical playground. having not only beat the system, but come to own it and control it like their own personal remote-controlled toy helicopter, wish only to complete one final big cash withdrawal from the fire-sale shell of this once-great nation.
the magic ATM card that gets them out of jail free will come out for one last outrageous gambit: the giant sucking sound you hear will be your social security -- to which you've paid 15 percent of your wages during your entire working life.
what else is left for them to steal? and who's going to stop them?