This is a long piece of investigative journalism, but well worth reading.
It is too bad that the Banks had their major nemesis, Eliot Spitzer, taken out by the Feds under Bush II. And they were able to buy off the White House and the Congress so that no one of substance is touched by indictment, much less conviction.
Later in the story Matt Taibbi mentions the LIBOR rigging scandal, and suggests the broader rigging of markets and the real economy by the financial interests.
In a way a brainwashed vocal minority of the people are to blame for this. Every time the move is made to reform this rotten system, and bring the banks and large financial corporations under control of the law,they pipe up, often hysterically, on cue that government has no business interfering with 'private enterprise.' These are the kind of unthinking used by the powerful as paid propandists, intellectual brown shirts, and even the unthinking and unpaid, known in the power trade as 'useful idiots.'
In political jargon, useful idiot is a pejorative term used to describe ordinary people serving as propagandists for a cause whose goals they do not truly understand, who are used cynically by the leaders of the cause.The politicians and regulators are bought or cowed, and the people shout slogans calling for their own downfall.
Don't feed the sharks. Don't let them turn you into a useful idiot. Stop watching the propaganda stream and start thinking for yourself.
Stop letting these wiseguys play you for a fool, a sucker, a muppet, and a cockroach. Because that is what they think you are. You really don't deserve it. It just encourages them to be bolder, and discourages those around you from thinking that reform is possible. Think twice before you speak.
This is an old story, with the bad guys wearing different, more expensive suits, but the game remains the same.
"Do not fear your enemies. The worst they can do is kill you. Do not fear your friends. At worst, they may betray you. Fear those who do not care; they neither kill nor betray, but betrayal and murder exist because of their silent consent."
The Scam Wall Street Learned From the Mafia
By Matt Taibbi
June 21, 2012
Someday, it will go down in history as the first trial of the modern American mafia. Of course, you won't hear the recent financial corruption case, United States of America v. Carollo, Goldberg and Grimm, called anything like that. If you heard about it at all, you're probably either in the municipal bond business or married to an antitrust lawyer. Even then, all you probably heard was that a threesome of bit players on Wall Street got convicted of obscure antitrust violations in one of the most inscrutable, jargon-packed legal snoozefests since the government's massive case against Microsoft in the Nineties – not exactly the thrilling courtroom drama offered by the famed trials of old-school mobsters like Al Capone or Anthony "Tony Ducks" Corallo.
But this just-completed trial in downtown New York against three faceless financial executives really was historic. Over 10 years in the making, the case allowed federal prosecutors to make public for the first time the astonishing inner workings of the reigning American crime syndicate, which now operates not out of Little Italy and Las Vegas, but out of Wall Street.
The defendants in the case – Dominick Carollo, Steven Goldberg and Peter Grimm – worked for GE Capital, the finance arm of General Electric. Along with virtually every major bank and finance company on Wall Street – not just GE, but J.P. Morgan Chase, Bank of America, UBS, Lehman Brothers, Bear Stearns, Wachovia and more – these three Wall Street wiseguys spent the past decade taking part in a breathtakingly broad scheme to skim billions of dollars from the coffers of cities and small towns across America.
The banks achieved this gigantic rip-off by secretly colluding to rig the public bids on municipal bonds, a business worth $3.7 trillion. By conspiring to lower the interest rates that towns earn on these investments, the banks systematically stole from schools, hospitals, libraries and nursing homes – from "virtually every state, district and territory in the United States," according to one settlement. And they did it so cleverly that the victims never even knew they were being cheated. No thumbs were broken, and nobody ended up in a landfill in New Jersey, but money disappeared, lots and lots of it, and its manner of disappearance had a familiar name: organized crime.
Read the rest here.