Friday, February 13, 2015


DoJ planning penalties
For banks, not bankers



Justice Department Is Seeking Felony Pleas by Big Banks in Foreign Currency Inquiry

ACCORDING TO A NUMBER of on-line sites, The Justice Department (DoJ) is pushing some of the biggest banks on Wall Street — including, for the first time in decades, American institutions — to plead guilty to criminal charges that they manipulated the prices of foreign currencies.


The bank executives will cry crocodile tears and agree to pay big fines and to cease doing what they did (until the next time they are caught), knowing that nothing will happen to the them or their rewards.

The banks - read depositors and shareholders - will pay whatever fine DoJ levies and the executives will go on with their business as usual. And get hefty End of Year bonuses in the bargain.

Only the little guy suffers.

Nothing will change in the Executive Suites until DoJ starts seeking long jail terms for the executives on whose watch the shenanigans occurred.

Even a few years at the Florida resort prisons in Marianna or Pensacola would help convince others who think they are above the law to consider the penalties before they act - or fail to act.

The banks that have DoJ asking for mea culpas are Barclays, JPMorgan Chase, the Royal Bank of Scotland and Citigroup.

Meanwhile, in New York, state agencies are taking a close look at Barclays, Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs, Credit Suisse, BNP Paribas, and Société Générale.

The article on the Dealbook site suggests that the executives facing DoJ ire are planning to throw midlevel employees to the wolves, while in New York, the currency case is expected to ensnare traders but not top-level executives. - again, the small, expendable working stiff.

According to Reuters, Last November, regulators fined six major banks a total of $4.3 billion for failing to stop traders from trying to manipulate the foreign exchange market, following a yearlong global investigation.

Fined the banks, NOT the executives who control the banks.

As long as the executives only have to shell out other people's money, and suffer no loss to their finances or freedom, nothing will change. It must be nice to be immune to penalties that plague other folks like us.

Not only are bank protected, but executives of ALL major companies - car manufacturers and credit rating companies (e.g., Standard and Poor), for example - seem to escape sans any personal penalties.

Executives of smaller organizations, such as Bernard Madoff, go to jail; Martha Stewart went to jail.

Unlike the president of Toyota, Ponzi schemers such as Madoff only ruin people's lives; Toyota's "sticking gas pedal" cost people their lives.

Is justice perverted by money, power?

(If you answered "No," I have a bridge in Brooklyn to sell you.)

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