As Paul B. Farrell says in a recent column, it's too late to jail bankster CEOs; only a revolution could accomplish that.
"Put Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein in jail for six months, and all this will stop," a former congressional aide tells Matt Taibbi in his latest Rolling Stone attack, "Why Isn't Wall Street in Jail? Financial crooks brought down the world's economy -- but the feds are doing more to protect them than to prosecute them."
Taibbi's right in one respect: everyone knows Wall Street's run by a bunch of dictators who are doing more damage to democracy and capitalism than North Africa's dictators. But jail the CEOs of Goldman, Citi, B of A or Morgan Stanley? It's too late for that.
Only a revolution will stop Wall Street's self-destructive form of capitalism
During the S&L crisis two decades ago America had a backbone, indicted 3,800 executives and bankers, and put a thousand of them behind bars. But today's leaders don't have the backbone to do something like that. Besides, jail time for them won't take away the darkness consuming Wall Street's soul. In addition, most Americans today are still politically asleep, in denial about the moral crisis facing America. Only a revolution will wake them up.
Jail time for banksters? Journalists have been beating that dead horse for three years. Yes, jailing a few CEOs made sense, in early 2009. But our still-wet-behind-the-ears president missed that opportunity, and for safety's sake surrounded himself with Wall Street insiders, just as Bush did with Blankfein's predecessor and others like him.
Taibbi got it right in one respect: Washington's error was in protecting Wall Street's billion-dollar crooks when it should have been prosecuting them for their criminal role in getting us into the 2008 mess. But today the political statute-of-limitations has run out. The jail solution is wishful thinking, like praying to the tooth fairy for a miracle. Now is the time for a revolution, beginning on Wall Street.
Jail Wall Street? Old news. They got away with it. Obama chickened out. End of story.
"Jail Bank CEOs" makes a great sound bite in the cable pundits' echo chamber. Of course you remember Taibbi's unforgettable indictment of Goldman Sachs: the "world's most powerful investment bank is a great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity, relentlessly jamming its blood funnel into anything that smells like money."
But so what? Just three years after Wall Street's crooks brought down the world's economy, Goldman's Blankfein and his Wall Street partners in crime are using their bailout money to pay record bonuses, laughing at us chumps as they do so.
Since the 2008 meltdown, magazines and newspapers have analyzed the 2008 crash to death. It really is old news -- history. Journalists churned out book after book: "Greenspan's Bubbles," "House of Cards," "Trillion Dollar Meltdown," "13 Bankers," "Dumb Money," "Bailout Nation," "All the Devils Are Here," "The Big Short," "Too Big to Fail," "The Failure of Capitalism," "This Time is Different," "And Then the Roof Caved In," on and on, ad nauseum. All talk, no action, and no effect. And with every book, every editorial, every expose over the past three years, Wall Street banksters actually grew stronger, got richer, more arrogant, bolder on bonuses, impervious to attacks, even taunting us (like the dictators Mubarak, Ben Ali and Gadhafi), confident they could do no wrong, confident no one would rebel. Jail for banksters? Our moment to act is long past.
Wall Street is the "Comeback Kid" story of the 21st century. Three short years ago, Wall Street was virtually bankrupt, a ward of the state. If only we could have jailed "just one" of them back then, when they were down for the count. But instead we bailed them out! Made them richer. Gave them $14 trillion in the form of loans, credits, cash, and asset buyouts. Essentially we gave them the keys to the Treasury. So they didn't just recover, they're now "running the tables," to use a Las Vegas metaphor. They own the place, as Senator Durbin said. So let's admit the truth, let's understand the new reality: Wall Street dictators have absolute power; they rule Washington, America, and you and me.
Yes America's bankrupt, and the rich don't care
Admit it, we lost the opportunity to save our democracy from them. Jail a bank CEO and Wall Street will miraculously reform? You must be joking. Wall Street got away with the biggest (and apparently "legal") bank heist of all times. And today the should-be/would-be inmates are running not just the prison but the country.
Wall Street's corrupt banksters have lost their moral compass -- their insatiable greed has become a deadly virus destroying its host (nation) -- their campaign billions buy senate votes, stop regulators' actions, and manipulate presidential decisions. Wall Street money controls voters, runs America, and both parties. And yes, Wall Street is bankrupting the country at the same time.
Wake up America, and listen to what these economists are saying: