Friday, March 12, 2010
A Semblance Of A Level Playing Field: Some Day?
There is an article today in the New York Times about Lehman Brothers and how they manipulated their accounting to hid debt on their books. I read about Lehman and their cast of bright idiots in Andrew Sorkin's book TOO BIG TO FAIL. The article concludes with the thought that while nothing criminal was done, that there may be grounds for civil action against those that managed the corporation. In other words, you can steal, just don't use a gun. I think Alan Greenspan, the former chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank, would agree with my statement that anything a bank does, short of using a gun, is OK. The actions these men, that ran Lehman, took were in my book FRAUD!!! But, I am a simple person, and I like to keep things simple because they are easier to understand that way. We should build special prisons for financial fraud in my opinion. And, until the laws are written to protect the investor, the consumer of investment products and other financial products, we are going to continue to see more crap like Lehman going under and taking people's money with them.
We do not have capitalism in this country as so many people think we do or should. What we have is a system where lobbyists extract favors in legislation to make certain people very rich at the expense of other people. In America, as elsewhere, it is the working people that suffer from the frauds that are permitted by law to continue. That is what the big fight over financial reform and better and more comprehensive regulations in Washington is all about. If the Congress levels the playing field, then consumers will have a fighting chance because those that hid debt from their balance sheet will go straight to jail and will not collect $200 billion dollars and will not pass GO. I am talking about you Wall Street bankers, those poor SOBs that only make a few million dollars a year and travel around the world in their corporate jets (a business expense).
One of these days, a lot more people are going to understand just how rigged the financial game is in favor of the bankers, and then maybe we will get the change needed, in the way business is permitted to be done on Wall Street, to bring back a semblance of a level playing field.