“Guilty, But Not Punished”: Another Banker Let Off The Hook

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It is a verdict which we see over and over when it comes to the crimes of the Big Banks, the central banks, and their minions. These felons are caught committing serious offenses, again and again, yet receive either no punishment, or at worst some token slap on the wrist.

Christine LaGarde

The banking felon to escape punishment this time is IMF criminal, Christine LaGarde . LaGarde’s criminal conviction came while she was still France’s Finance Minister. It involved a $400 million government pay-out authorized by LaGarde, against the advice of several other Finance Ministry officials, to “French tycoon” Bernard Tapie. LaGarde announced she wouldn’t appeal being let off the hook for her crime. How magnanimous.

Of course the phrase “French tycoon” is just a Corporate media euphemism for French oligarch, Bernard Tapie. LaGarde funneled $400 million of government money – the People’s money — into this oligarch’s pockets, against the advice of Ministry colleagues, in what was officially ruled “a misuse of public funds”. Even with the watered-down charge of negligence, LaGarde’s crime could have carried a penalty of up to one year in prison.

The problem is that it would be difficult for LaGarde to continue to serve her oligarch Masters – in her new role as head of the IMF – from inside a prison cell. So she was given a pat on the head and told to go back to work. Indeed, one has to wonder if LaGarde’s reward for enriching Bernard Tapie (even further) with public money was her prestigious appointment at the IMF?

If (mis)using $400 million of public money to line the pockets of an oligarch doesn’t warrant at least a year in prison, what does? But this is nothing more than what we have now come to expect in the two-tier “justice” which now prevails across the Western world.

Once upon a time, our societies espoused a principle known as “accountability.” People were held accountable for their actions, meaning not just the Little People. Indeed, when public officials were guilty of misdeeds back when we lived in legitimate societies, they were held more accountable than the rest of us – not less so. At the very least, they were forced to give up their prestigious position, in disgrace.

Now these Criminals just sneer down at the Little People when they are let off the hook for their mega-crimes, as they try to pretend that they have done nothing wrong. For the Little People, a criminal conviction (for a serious offense) can and usually does derail one’s entire life. For the high-and-mighty (especially the higher-and-mightier bankers) a criminal conviction is not even a bump in the road – the road to committing more crimes.

The high-and-mighty, and the corporate fronts which they wield, commit crimes which are many orders of magnitude larger than any other (financial) crimes in human history and are unpunished. Here regular readers will already recall the epitome of anti-justice :

U.S. ‘Justice’ Department Proclaims Big Banks Have A License To Steal

The U.S. Department of (Anti-)Justice issued a proclamation that “one of the most effective ways to combat corporate misconduct” in the financial sector would be to never prosecute financial corporations. U.S. Big Banks now had a license to steal, officially. It doesn’t matter how large the crimes, how many crimes they commit, or how many times they commit the same crimes; no punishment – not even a token prosecution.

But even before the subservient U.S. government officially sanctioned U.S. Big Bank crime, in perpetuity, the criminals of Wall Street already considered crime a way of life in their occupation, as expressed (euphemistically) in this Reuters headline from 2012:

Many Wall Street executives says wrongdoing is necessary: survey

One-quarter of the “senior executives” (i.e. master criminals) of Wall Street admit that committing crimes is a way of life. The other 75% won’t admit it. The banking mouthpieces at Bloomberg couldn’t hide their smirks as they wrote the following words :

The statute of limitations has run out on the majority of the most egregious cases stemming from the financial crisis [the Crash of ‘08], but there is always more to do. Wall Street is like the Silicon Valley of financial crime: It’s always innovating . [emphasis mine]

Revering financial criminals, for committing the worst financial crimes. Americans have a long tradition of revering their gangsters, and bankers are the gangsters of the 21 st century: banksters. Readers know the crime syndicate which employs the services of these banksters as “the One Bank” : a crime syndicate which, by itself, controls 40% of the global economy.

Along with all that corporate power comes political power: controlling 100% of Western governments (except Iceland), controlling 100% of the “justice” machinery in these Puppet States. The new Trump regime is nothing more than Goldman Sachs Inc., a rancid government stuffed with more Goldman Sachs stooges than any other U.S. regime in history.

Why stuff the Trump government with so many Goldman Sachs stooges at this particular time? Because the Next Crash is coming, and the banking crime syndicate wants there to be several sets of (loyal) hands dishing out sugar-plums to the banking crime syndicate, just like former Goldman Sachs CEO Hank Paulson did in 2008, as U.S. Treasury Secretary.

Of course mere foot soldiers like Paulson and Blankfein and Dimon don’t get to pocket the kick-backs and too-big-to-fail blackmail payments funneled into the coffers of the Big Bank crime syndicate. Ultimately all that pillaged public money ends up in the pockets of the “Godfathers” of the banking crime syndicate – the oligarchs.

These are the world’s real “richest people” : trillionaires. The planet’s premier thieves. They are not to be confused with all the B-list billionaires on the absurd “world’s richest lists” fabricated by the Corporate media – which itself is just another tentacle of the One Bank. How did the Top 0.1% in the U.S. “acquire” as much wealth as the entire bottom-90%? Obviously they didn’t earn it.

The political lackeys and banking lackeys steal millions of times more for their oligarch Masters than any other thieves in history, but go unpunished. But it wasn’t always this way, as expressed in the neatly titled article Should Crimes of Capital Get Capital Punishment?”

The history of drastic punishment for financial crimes may be nearly as old as wealth itself.

The Code of Hammurabi, more than 3,700 years ago, stipulated that any Mesopotamian who violated the terms of a financial contract – including the futures contracts that were commonly used in commodities trading in Babylon – “ shall be put to death as a thief.”

In medieval Catalonia, a banker who went bust wasn’t merely humiliated by town criers who declaimed his failure in public squares throughout the land; he had to live on nothing but bread and water until he paid off his depositors in full. If, after a year, he was unable to repay, he would be executed – as in the case of banker Francesch Castello, who was beheaded in 1360. Bankers who lied about their books could also be subject to the death penalty.

In Florence during the Renaissance, the Arte del Cambio – the guild of mercantile money-changers [i.e. bankers] who facilitated the city’s international trade – made the cheating of clients punishable by torture… [emphasis mine]

The article appeared, ironically, in the Wall Street Journal. In some parts of the world today, the most-serious financial crimes already carry the ultimate penalty : death.

19 Chinese White Collar Criminals Who Were Handed The Death Sentence

How many Western bankers would we need to shorten by about a foot, with a rusty guillotine, before the rest of these Criminals tell their oligarch Masters to start doing their own stealing? Nobody can answer that question with certainty. There is only one way to find out: experimentation.


Article by Jeff Nielson, Sprott Money

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