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It pays to be rich when you commit a bank robbery

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POSTED February 7, 2009 5:00 a.m.
“The rich are different than you and I.”From the book “The Great Gatsby” by Scott Fitzgerald

Pull a gun to rob a bank and you are not going to get an $18 million bonus.

However, if you’re the head banker and you were complacent in the looting of the bank you’ll get your hefty salary plus the $18 million bonus.

The indignant howling of chief executive officers who basically steered the Titanics of the financial institutions of this land into ice bergs is enough to make you want to embrace Karl Marx. This isn’t capitalism run amok. These are college educated mercenaries whose lust for money that have ravaged the lifetime retirement savings of millions of Americans who have their money locked up in mutual funds in  the very banks and mammoth financial institutions the $18 million bonus babies are destroying.

They will tell you they had no idea what was going on. Poppycock.  If they were that ignorant, then they need to explain why they are worth $15 million annual salaries with $18 million bonuses given to them whether the banks prosper, go under, or go sideways. It is a sense of entitlement that makes any transgression committed by a welfare recipient pale in comparison.

What do we do, by the way, to someone who has defrauded welfare? The government prosecutes them and makes them make restitution. The same is in order for the bankers who essentially committed fraud for personal gain. It’s time the Attorney General goes after them for fraud. Who cares how long it takes to make a case. If we can twist the RICO laws to go after those who conspire to blockade abortion clinics for racketeering, then bankers should be a target that is much more easily justified.

The RICO law allows the federal government to seize ill gotten gains secured through conspiracy. It’ll be one way to start making America whole again while sending a strong message that we are a nation of laws and not lawbreakers

Remember, it wasn’t just the lender who made the initial liar loans. These loans were passed off between banks on a daily basis. If that isn’t a conspiracy, then nothing is.

And if it isn’t conspiracy, then all of the head honchos are grossly incompetent and should be sued by stockholder groups for committing fraud for assuming reins of power for a position they had not the skills or ability to carry out. It has to be one or the other. It is a complete cop out to claim that they didn’t know what was going on. They’re being compensated yearly with an amount of money equal to the gross national product of a Third World country.

While the world is collapsing around them, they are busy making mega deals to buy jets, secure sponsoring rights to the New York Yankees, and throwing $20 million “thank you parties” to the lieutenants that helped make them rich while crippling the banks they oversee. It’s greed as usual.

How, you ask, can they get away with it? The answer is easy. Congress. They are the only institution with the power to adopt laws and put in place enforcement oversight that doesn’t require a projected lawsuit. The administration runs the bureaucracy. They don’t make the basic rules that everything else is built upon. That’s Congress’ job.

Yet how do we expect Congress to look out for us when they are buddy, buddy with the very people who are destroying America for their financial gain? Ex-Sen. Tom Daschle got hundreds of thousands of free limo service from his buddies in the financial world yet failed to report it as taxable gift. Try to beat the IRS out of what is due them if you’re a little guy. They’ll hound you to your grave but that isn’t the case for the rich and the powerful. They’re different than you and I.

Not a penny of the original $700 billion bailout has made its way down to the little guy. The theory that by starting with the banks it would make more money available to loan has been a complete fraud. Critical money needed for retail and industrial investment is still frozen. Meanwhile, the bank executives are awarding themselves bonus so big it would give Paul Bunyan a hernia trying to carry all the loot.

It is clear Congress cannot be trusted to do their job.

They passed a bailout bill in October that has no accountability and allows financial institutions to continue doing business as usual.

If Congress aka Santa Claus distributes another trillion dollars give or take a billion or so, you might as well as speed up the process and liquidate your assets and burn the money. That way it will save all of those hardworking, underpaid bank chief executive officers from having to break a sweat as they jet off to exotic ports while Congress is getting ready to toss another trillion or so at the problem.

The CEOs shouldn’t just be limited to $500,000 in annual compensation. They should be prosecuted to the furthest extent of the law.
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