It’s worth keeping in mind, when we think of what happens in our economic lives, that global financial events trigger waves everywhere. That’s perhaps stating the obvious–so, when bankers get a “stay-out-of jail” card anywhere, it sends a message to every one of the financial global elite. Take Barclay’s.
Let’s chuckle–with a bit of dark laughter–at this pathetic “settlement”:
Barclays has agreed to pay more than $450 million to resolve accusations that it attempted to manipulate key interest rates, the first settlement in a sprawling global investigation involving many of the world’s biggest banks.
The British bank struck a deal with regulators in Washington and London, as well as the Justice Department. The settlement is seen as the first in a series of potential cases against other major financial firms.
This is not change. In fact, this kind of settlement guarantees one thing: it will happen again. The message to these guys is simple: if you do this again, you will not lose your freedom–meaning, go to jail–and you will not even lose your jobs. Indeed, we will help raise your level of mirth, comfort and happiness because, while you sock away more pay and benefits to buy your 3rd or 4th mansion, the SHAREHOLDERS will pay for your misdeeds.
This is crony capitalism defined. And the regulators–and political leadership–are simply reinforcing the game. Not that it’s surprising. The little fish get jailed–sometimes–bthe bigger crimes committed that have imposed austerity and joblessness on millions of people go unpunished. Think of this: the CEO of Goldman Sachs Lloyd Blankfein is still a free man–despite a key investigation in the U.S. that found, “a financial snake pit rife with greed, conflicts of interest, and wrongdoing”
And this is a message heard from Sydney to London to Wall Street–you will not be jailed.
You see, the justice system is just for the little people–not for the elites.
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