Hold up a liquor store; go to prison, probably for a long time. Hold up the US banking system; make gobs of money until the system blows up, then get bailed out by the government and go back to making gobs of money. It only seems unfair because it is. From Michael Krieger at libertyblitzkrieg.com:
It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way – in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.
– Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities
One of the major objectives of this site over the years has been to highlight the demoralizing and extremely destructive reality that two completely different justices systems exist in America — one for the wealthy, powerful and connected, and another for everyone else. While there will always be some element of this in any society of humans, extremes can and do occur, and the pendulum now has shifted in these United States to extremely dangerous Banana Republic-like levels.
Nowhere is this divergence of justice more in your face and deplorable than with respect to how Wall Street financiers are treated compared to the rest of us. Not only was the industry rewarded with endless financial lifelines and zero executive prosecutions after it destroyed the global economy, but the industry continues to do whatever it wants, whenever it wants, with zero repercussions. It doesn’t take genius to understand that if there’s no risk in committing financial crimes, you get a lot more of them.
Speaking of Wall Street being able to do whatever it wants, let’s take a look at what Goldman Sachs is up to courtesy of some excerpts from a recent article by David Dayen published at The Fiscal Times:
Goldman Sachs is on a shopping spree. Last week, it spent $500 million to buy 12 percent of Riverstone Holdings, a private equity firm focused on energy investments. This is part of a $2 billion private equity strategy for the vampire squid. Through a couple of subsidiary funds, Goldman has already acquired stakes in private equity players Littlejohn & Co. and ArcLight Capital Partners, and Accel-KKR, a firm specializing in tech companies.
To continue reading: A Tale of Two Justice Systems – Wall Street vs. Main Street