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The Fines We Pay

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"Banks" are starting to reach their settlements with the Securities and exchange commission over their sale of risky securities." Hmm. Are those the "risky securities" that have been the foundation of the mortgage meltdown? Are those the "risky securities" that launched the "credit crunch?" Are these the same "banks" that the Federal Reserve has been bailing out? Well shut my mouth, I believe that is the case.

The big exchange banks all had their hands in the Ponzi scheme that is still crashing around the heads of the United States and the rest of the world. Now, one by one they are "settling" with regulators and shareholders while still drawing preferred rates from the Federal Reserve. Perhaps this unlikely "justice" is because they are considered "too big to fail."

The JPMorgan settlement is reported to be $25 million, with an undisclosed (several billion dollar) buy back of part of shareholders' "risky" investments. What is left out of the reports (conveniently) is the $30 billion the Federal Reserve fronted JP Morgan to swallow up Bear Stearns - another investment bank caught with both hands in the "risky investments."

The Fed fronts JPMorgan $30 billion to take over a competitor. JP pays out a $25 million fine and a few billion to shareholders (read other banks, government agencies, and very rich folks). That seems to leave a tidy profit and virtually no consequences to me. Of course, the other banks offering settlements are also taking in discount front money from the Fed.

So spin the wheels of "justice" where the criminal can get the means for restitution of injured parties and still make a massive profit. I guess it does look like the "justice," and that the "watchdog" Securities and Exchange Commission" is protecting us from the graft and greed of big players. However, "looks like" is all that seems to be happening.

 

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Rowan Wolf is an activist and sociologist living in Oregon. She is the founder and principle author of Uncommon Thought Journal, and Editor in Chief of Cyrano's Journal Today.


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